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GERMANY AND AS 

THE REVOLUTION 

IN RUSSIA 
1915-1918 

Documents from the Archives 

of the 

German Foreign Ministry 

EDITED BY 

Z. A. B. ZEMAN 



LONDON 
OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS 

NEW YORK TORONTO 

J 95B 



Oxford University Press, Amen House, London E.C.4 

GLASGOW NEW YORK TORONTO MELBOURNE WELLINGTON 

BOMBAY CALCUTTA MADRAS KARACHI KUALA LUMPUR 

CAPE TOWN IBADAN NAIROBI ACCRA 



) In the selection and translation Oxford University Press 1958 



PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

The editor wishes to acknowledge the help of his 
wife and her patience. Mr. George Katkov was both 
helpful and interested— this was important. Mr. Dietr 
Pevsner translated most of the official German into 
readable English. The Warden and Fellows of St. 
Antony's College, Oxford, helped to relieve the edi- 
tor of some of the more onerous tasks connected 
with producing this volume by a generous grant from 
the College. The Librarian of the Foreign Office 
rendered many kind services to the editor. The edi- 
tor would also like to thank his friends and colleagues 
who helped him, encouraged him, and bore with him. 



London, May ig^y 



INTRODUCTION 

In November 19 14 it became clear to Germany's leaders that 
they had failed to achieve a decisive victory in the first phase 
of the war. The transformation of the war in the West and in 
the East into a one-front engagement was, according to Falken- 
hayn, the Chief of the General Staff, the shortest way to victory. 1 
It could be effected only if Germany concluded peace with one 
of the principal partners of the Entente. 

Zimmermann, the Under State Secretary in the Foreign Min- 
istry, concurred with this opinion in a memorandum dated 27* 
November. 2 He wrote : 'The aim of our policy in this war, con- 
ducted with such uncommon sacrifice, must be not only an hon- 
ourable, but also a lasting peace. In order to achieve this aim 
I regard it as desirable that a wedge should be driven between 
our enemies, so that we may conclude an early separate peace 
with one or the other. 5 In the subsequent years of the war, to 
isolate one of the enemy powers and conclude a peace with it 
was the principal aim of the German foreign policy. 

Behind this policy there was a tremendous profusion of 
activity and confusion of thought. The Foreign Ministry, 
having lost its peace-time functions, took over its management. 
The German missions in the neutral countries were the Minis- 
try's busiest outposts. Politicians, journalists, members of noble 
families, university professors, directors of banking houses, in- 
dustrialists, cranks, and crooks were involved. Large amounts of 
money were spent by the government in order to achieve this 
aim. 3 

France and Russia were the most likely targets for the policy 
of separate peace. But in Russia, apart from the possibility of 
concluding peace with the established regime, there was another 
way open to Germany. This was to give support to the revolu- 
tionary movement, to weaken the existing regime not only by 
military defeats but also by disruptive revolutionary agitation, 
both nationalist and socialist, and finally to conclude peace with 
a government dependent upon German good-will. 

The Imperial government never made a clear-cut choice 

' Bethmann-Hollweg's letter to Zimmermann, 19 November 1914 (AS 2769 in 
WK 2 seer, volume 1). For explanation of archival references see pp. xiii andxiv. 

2 AS 2769 in WK 2 seer, volume 1. 

1 The relevant documents on German peace-feelers in the Great War can be 
loiind in the series WK 2 seer and WK 2. 



viii GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

between the two courses of action open to it: from 1915, 
throughout the war with Russia, it pursued the policy of support 
of the revolutionary socialist movement, especially its left-wing 
elements, and the various separatist, nationalist movements^ 
such as the Finnish and the Ukrainian. At the same time, the 
Germans used every opportunity to negotiate with the repre- 
sentatives of the government they were doing their best to 
weaken and deprive of its power. 1 

It was Dr. Helphand,2 alias Parvus, by origin a Russian Jew, 
a Social Democrat who attempted to stand above the 
Bolshevik-Menshevik controversy, who did much to attract 
the attention of the German government to the possibilities of 
a revolution in Russia. From the spring of 19 15 till November 
191 7, Helphand played the most important part in Germany's 
relations with the Russian revolutionary movement, in spite of 
the fact that some socialists distrusted him, and that he may 
have been by-passed when the various German agencies 
acquired their own contacts. In November 191 7 he parted 
company with the German government and made an attempt 
to pursue an independent policy. 3 

Although the centre of political power had shifted, at the 
outbreak of the war, from Berlin to the seat of the Highest Army 
Command, it was the Foreign Ministry, and not the General 
Staff, who played the leading role in the policy of support of 
the revolutionary movement. It was pursued with the approval, 
and, in broad outline, with the knowledge of the highest mili- 
tary levels, and in co-operation with the Political Section of the 
Deputy General Staff in Berlin/ The Political Section, first 
under Nadolny and later with Hiilsen at its head, played an 
important part in the implementation of this policy. But the 
initiative came, most of the time, from the Foreign Ministry. 

The support of the left wing of the Russian revolutionary 
movement, political and financial, was the policy of the Foreign 
Ministry throughout the war. It was initiated while Jagow 
was the State Secretary, and Zimmermann the Under State 

1 See editorial note, p. 23, and footnote 3, document No. 90. 

2 No biography on this interesting subject exists. Deutscher, in his biography 
of Trotsky, The Prophet Armed (London, 1954, pp. 99 e t seq.), discusses 
Helphand s relations and influence on Trotsky. K. Haenisch, the German 
Social Democrat journalist, wrote a short pamphlet, entitled Parvus (Berlin 
I925)- 

3 See editorial note, p. 72. 

« von Moltke, the predecessor of Falkenhayn in the General Staff, was the head 
of the Deputy General Staff office in Berlin. 



INTRODUCTION ix 

Secretary in the Auswartiges Amt; it was carried on, more 
intensively, by Zimmermann after Jagow's resignation and later 
by Kuhlmann, who saw its consummation and decline in the 
final stages of the war. 

It was a policy beset by difficulties. The servants of the 
German state had to deal, however indirectly, with un- 
pleasant facts of revolution, with the demi-monde of revolution- 
aries in exile, and also with the subtle distinctions among the 
various revolutionary groups. Minister Diego Bergen, the trusted 
official in Wilhelmstrasse, the central office of the Foreign 
Ministry, who, after the Great War, served both the Weimar 
Republic and Hitler's regime as Ambassador to the Holy See, 
dealt with this policy efficiently from the beginning of 1 915 till 
the end of 191 7. He was in constant touch with Helphand, 
but not entirely dependent on him; he could distinguish be- 
tween the more and less effective types of revolutionaries and 
he took them for what they were : enemies of the Tsarist regime 
and advocates of the cessation of hostilities and peace. 

The policy bore the mark of the highest security rating; 
its outline becomes clear from the documents printed in this 
volume. Its implementation, carried out by many agents, is 
obscure to a degree. Often the search in the archives of the 
Foreign Ministry is unrewarding: the words 'the matter was 
settled by word of mouth' appear too often. As few records as 
possible were made; it is surprising that so large a number of 
relevant documents were recorded and preserved. This is 
often due to the urgency of the matter in hand : the amount 
of documents for April and November of 1 9 1 7 is higher than 
for any other period. The return of the political emigres after 
the March revolution and the German reaction to the Bolshevik 
seizure of power were matters urgent to both parties involved. 
In more tranquil periods, the men involved could be sum- 
moned to Berlin for consultations. No record of these talks was 
preserved. 

Some of the men who took part in the formulation of German 
war-time policy recorded their experiences. But the memoirs of 
I.udendorff, Kuhlmann, Hoffmann, or Erzberger 1 do not en- 
lighten the reader much as to the official attitude towards the 
revolution in Russia. They may have been unaware of the 
consistency of the policy as Bergen conducted it; they may 

1 E. Ludendorff, Meine Kriegserinnerungen, Berlin, 1919; R. Kuhlmann, Erinncrun- 
gin, Heidelberg, 1948; K. F. Nowak, Die Aufzeichnungen des General-Majors Max Hoff- 
mann, Berlin, 1928; M. Erzberger, Erlebnisse im Weltkrieg, Stuttgart und Berlin, 1920. 



x GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

have regarded it as an incident which should remain hidden in 
the government archives, or they may have just forgotten. Kiihl- 
mann certainly knew about it but chose to be uninformative 
in his memoirs. Ludendorff, when referring to Lenin's journey 
across Germany, did so with 'bated breath'. 

The committee of the Reichstag, inquiring, in the early years 
of the Weimar Republic into the causes of the downfall of the 
German Empire, 1 served us no better. Interested, as this com- 
mittee was, in the problem of 'responsibility' for the breakdown 
of 1 918, it may have regarded this feature of German policy in 
the Great War as outside the scope of its inquiry. Some Social 
Democrat members of the Committee may have had reasons 
not to proceed with it. Yet in 1921 Bernstein, the prominent 
Social Democrat, wrote two articles for the Volksrecht discussing 
this aspect of German war-time policy. 2 

The terms in which it was discussed during and immedi- 
ately after the war did much to obscure its outline and detail. 
Germany was referred to as the 'father of the Russian revo- 
lution', the Bolshevik leaders as 'agents of Germany', and 
their actions were described as 'subservient to the Imperial 
government'. This perhaps was understandable in the heat of 
the European conflagration. Now, forty years later, they appear 
out of date — in fact, there is no justification for employing 
them. 3 

The aims of the Imperial Government and of the left wing 
of the Russian revolutionaries coincided to a high degree. The 
willingness of this government to grant favours may have, on 
occasions, exceeded the willingness of the revolutionaries to 
accept them. 

There is no evidence among the documents of the Foreign 
Ministry that Lenin, a circumspect man, was in direct contact 
with any of the official German agenicies. How much he knew 

1 Die Ursachen des deutschen ^usammenbruches im Jahre igi8. Published by the 
Parliamentary Commission of Enquiry, Berlin. 

2 Vorwarts, Morgenausgabe, 14 January 1921: 'Ein dunkles Kapitel', Abend- 
ausgabe, 20 January 1921 : 'Meisterstuck und Meisterschuld'. 

3 The publication of the Sisson Documents ( The German-Bolshevik Conspiracy, War 
Information Series, No. 20, Washington, 191 8) did much to obscure both the 
German policy and its effect on the course of the revolution in Russia. Though in 
1 91 g the German government described the publication as wholly fraudulent {Die 
Entlarvung der 'Deutsch-Bolshevistischen Verschworung' , with an introduction by the 
Premier, Philipp Scheidemann, Berlin, 191 9; see also G. F. Kennan's article in the 
Journal of Modern History, volume XXVIII, No. 2, June 1956). When Weismann, 
the State Commissar for Public Order referred, in 192 1, to a publication of the 
same set of documents in Switzerland in 1919, he wrote: 'The documents in this 
pamphlet were partly forged' (Film reference: K281/K096202). 



INTRODUCTION xi 

about the activities of the men around him is difficult to tell. 
Hanecki, alias Fiirstenberg, and Radek, both officially Austro- 
Hungarian subjects, did, as well as Helphand, have some 
contacts with the Germans. 1 But it cannot be said even about 
Radek and Fiirstenberg, who had more contacts with the 
Germans than anyone else among the Bolsheviks, that the 
interests of the Imperial German government lay close to their 
hearts. A socialist revolution was their aim. To achieve and 
further it they were prepared to use every means. 

The aim of this collection of documents is to give a picture 
of the policy of the Imperial German government towards the 
revolution in Russia and also of some of the information avail- 
able to this government on which the policy was based. 

The documents printed here divide into four periods: Jan- 
uary 19 15 till March 191 7, from the time of the first records of 
Germany's interest in the revolution till its outbreak in March. 
The second period runs from March 191 7 till the Bolshevik 
seizure of power. It includes the transport of the Russian 
revolutionaries through Germany. Lenin's contingent was the 
first of these transports; later, a number of them was organized 
from Switzerland and Belgium. The criterion the German 
government used for their approval was the attitude of the men 
who were to be allowed transit through Germany to the question 
of continuation of the war. 

The third period covers November and December 191 7, 
starting with the German reactions to the Bolshevik seizure of 
power, and ending at the time of the failure of Radek's and 
Helphand's plan for a conference on neutral territory and the 
opening of the peace negotiations at Brest-Litovsk. No documents 
on these negotiations are printed here : it is a feature of German- 
Russian relations which has been well covered both by publica- 
tions of original sources and by secondary works. The documents 
in the German Foreign Ministry Archives, covering the Brest- 
Litovsk negotiations, have been filmed and are available at the 
Public Records Office in London and the National Archives in 
Washington. 

The two letters from Ludendorff and from Mirbach (docu- 
ments Nos. 134 and 136) are a suitable epitaph to the German 
policy towards the revolution in Russia. 

1 See document No. 112 and A 23291 in Russland Nr. 61, volume 154. Deputy 
Chief of Staff in Berlin to the Foreign Ministry, 30 May 1 9 1 8. A report, signed by 
Miiller, on a conversation with Jakob Hanecki. 



A NOTE ON TRANSLATION, FILMING, 
AND ARCHIVAL REFERENCES 

The editor has attempted to reproduce a faithful translation of 
the German originals. With one exception (see document No. 
125 and footnote) the full text of the documents is printed here. 
Anything not to be found in the original text is isolated by 
square brackets. All the marginalia commenting on the contents 
of the document are given in notes following the document. 

The editor allowed himself the following licenses : all routine 
administrative references and marginalia have been omitted. 
This includes references to other documents which introduce 
nothing new. The editor has attempted to trace references to 
other documents and the less known names which appear on 
the following pages: his failure to do so is not indicated by 
footnotes. He has also tried to provide editorial notes and foot- 
notes which are purely explanatory and contain no comment 
or speculation. 

Those readers interested in the German originals, or in the 
exploration of avenues which this publication opens, can con- 
sult the relevant films in the Public Records Office. Apart from 
the majority of the mission files, some of the Grosses Haupt- 
quartier papers and the relevant Nachlasse, it is to be hoped 
that all the documents printed here have been filmed. The 
editor had the good fortune to work on the original documents : 
the private filming, done by the various university and other 
institutions, and intended to supplement the official project 
filming, is not indicated in any way on the originals. The docu- 
ments filmed officially bear a stamp, the so-called serial and 
frame number. Because of the diversity of manner in which this 
material has been filmed, the editor decided not to include any 
filming references. 

The original archival references, used here, are a sufficient 
guide for the location of every document not only in the ar- 
chives, but also on the film. The so-called Aktenzeichen (for 
instance: WK 2 seer or Russland Nr. 61) and the number of 
the volume are the most important indications as to the location 
of a document. Then there are the journal numbers (numbers 
with the letters A or AS preceding them), which indicate the 
location of a document in the file. Because of the German 
archivists' use of the description '-zu-' ( Verfugung, or action taken) 



xiv GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

not every document has a separate journal number. There are 
sometimes two or more documents bearing the same number, 
or even more than one number: this indicates that the text of 
the document has some connexion with another document or 
documents : it is either a continuation or a reply. Only the first 
journal number (in case of documents which bear more than 
one) is printed here. Apart from the journal numbers, the num- 
bers of the incoming and outgoing telegrams and reports are 
given as a further aid for the location of a document in the file. 



LIST OF DOCUMENTS 



Date and Subject 

g Jan. 1915. The Under State Secretary to the State 
Secretary. The Ambassador in Constantinople 
reports a conversation with Dr. Helphand. 

1 3 Jan. 1915. The State Secretary (at the time at the 

General Headquarters) to the Foreign Ministry. 
Riezler will meet Helphand in Berlin. 

■A> Mar. 1915. Herr Frohlich to Minister Bergen. 
Concerning funds for Helphand. 

(i July 1915. The State Secretary of the Foreign 
Ministry to the State Secretary of the Treasury. 
Request for funds for the promotion of revo- 
lutionary propaganda in Russia. 

14 Aug. 1915. The Minister in Copenhagen to the 

Under State Secretary. Count Brockdorff- 
Rantzau's conversation with Helphand. 

30 Sept. 1915. The Minister in Bern to the Chan- 
cellor. Keskiila on the peace aims of Lenin. 

21 Dec. 1915. The Minister in Copenhagen to the 
Chancellor. Helphand on his visit to Berlin. 

:'.(> Dec. 1915. The State Secretary of the Treasury 
to the Under State Secretary. HelfFerich on the 
plans of Helphand. 

36 Dec. 1915. The State Secretary to the Minister in 
Copenhagen. Funds for Helphand. 

1!! Jan. 1916. Herr Steinwachs to Minister Bergen. 
Keskiila on his relations with the Russian revo- 
lutionaries. 

S3 Jan. 1 91 6. The Minister in Copenhagen to the 
Chancellor. Helphand on his visit to Stock- 
holm and on the internal conditions in 
Russia. 

II May 1916. Herr Steinwachs to Minister Bergen. 
An account of expenditure on Russian propa- 
ganda. 

'I Aug. igi6. The Minister in Bern to the Chan- 
cellor. Connexion with Zivin, a Social Revo- 
lutionary. 



Location of the 
Doc. document. Series; 
Mo. volume Page 

1 WK iic seer, 1 
volume 3 

2 WK 1 1 c seer, 2 
volume 4 



'3 



WK lie seer, 
volume 6 

WK 1 1 c seer, 
volume 7 



WK iic seer, 
volume 8 



RusslandNr. 61, 
volume 123 

WK iic seer, 
volume 10 

WK lie seer, 
volume 10 

WK iic seer, 
volume 10 

WK iic seer, 
volume 1 1 



WK 1 1 e seer, 
volume 1 1 



WK 1 1 e seer, 
volume 13 

WK iic seer, 
volume 15 



'4 



16 



GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 



21 Mar. 1917. The Minister in Copenhagen to the 
Foreign Ministry. Helphand's views on the 
events in Russia. 

23 Mar. 191 7. The State Secretary to the Foreign 
Ministry Liaison Officer at General Head- 
quarters. Hoffmann told Romberg that Russian 
revolutionaries wished to return to Russia from 
Switzerland via Germany. 

2 5 Mar. 1 9 1 7 . The Liaison Officer at General Head- 
quarters to the Foreign Ministry. The High 
Command and the transit of Russian revolu- 
tionaries. 

26 Mar. 1917. The Under State Secretary to the 
Minister in Bern. Special train for Russian 
revolutionaries. 

29 Mar. 1917. The Minister in Bern to the Chan- 

cellor. The Russian committees in Switzerland 
and Germany's military activities on the Eas- 
tern front. 

30 Mar. 191 7. Captain Hiilsen to the Foreign Minis- 

try. Report of a confidential agent of the Poli- 
tical Section of the General Staff in Berlin on 
the return of the Russian revolutionaries. 

31 Mar. 1 91 7. The Minister in Bern to the Foreign 

Ministry. The return of the Russian revolu- 
tionaries. 

31 Mar. 191 7. Memorandum by Ow-Wachendorff. 
Protocol of a discussion on the transport of the 
Russian revolutionaries. 

2 Apr. 1 91 7. The Minister in Copenhagen to the 
Foreign Ministry. Scavenius on the situation 
in Russia. 

2 Apr. 191 7. The Minister in Copenhagen to the 
State Secretary. Helphand's importance to 
Germany. 

2 Apr. 191 7. The Under State Secretary to the Minis- 

ter in Bern. The transit of the Russian revo- 
lutionaries should take place as soon as possible. 

3 Apr. 1 91 7. The Minister in Bern to the Foreign 

Ministry. No representative of the revolution- 
aries contacted Romberg. 

4 Apr. 1 91 7. The Under State Secretary to the 

Minister in Bern. Enclosure: document No. ig. 

4 Apr. 191 7. The Minister in Bern to the Foreign 
Ministry. Platten came to see Romberg as the 
representative of the Russian revolutionaries. 



14 RusslandNr. 61, 
volume 125 

15 VVK 2 seer, 
volume 31 



16 Ibid. 



25 



17 Ibid. 



18 Ibid. 



19 Ibid. 



26 



26 



27 



a 7 



20 Ibid. 


29 


21 Ibid. 


29 


22 Ibid. 


30 


23 Ibid. 


32 


24 Ibid. 


33 


25 Ibid. 


34 


26 Ibid. 


34 


27 Ibid. 


35 



WK 2 seer, 
volume 32 


33 


Ibid. 


39 


Ibid. 


40 


Ibid. 


4 1 



LIST OF DOCUMENTS xvii 

4 Apr. 1 91 7. The Minister in Bern to the Foreign 28 Ibid. 36 

Ministry. Social Democrats and peace with 
Russia. 

5 Apr. 1917. The State Secretary to the Foreign 29 Ibid. 37 

Ministry Liaison Officer at General Head- 
quarters. The transit of the Russian revolution- 
aries through Germany. 

5 Apr. 1917. The Under State Secretary to the 30 Ibid. 37 

Minister in Bern. The transit of the Russian 
revolutionaries through Germany. 

-j Apr. igi7.The,MinisterinBern to the Chancellor. 31 
Platten's conditions. 

6 Apr. 191 7. The Minister in Bern to the Foreign 32 

Ministry. Social Revolutionaries may join 
Lenin's party. 

7 Apr. 1917. The Under State Secretary to the 33 

Minister in Bern. Platten's conditions accepted. 

7 Apr. 1 91 7. The State Secretary to the Minister in 34 
Stockholm. Transit of the Russian revolution- 
aries through Sweden. 

!) Apr. 1917. The Minister in Bern to the Foreign 35 Ibid.-- 41 

Ministry. The transit of the Russian revolution- 
aries through Germany. 

9 Apr. 191 7. The Minister in Copenhagen to the 36 Ibid. 42 

Foreign Ministry. Helphand wishes to meet 
the Russian revolutionaries in Malmo. 

9 Apr. 1917. The Minister in Bern to the Foreign 37 Ibid. 42 

Ministry. Swedish transit permit for the revo- 
lutionaries. 

<) Apr. 1917. The Minister in Munich to the Foreign 38 Ibid. 43 

Ministry. Adolf Muller and Russian socialists 
in Scandinavia. 

10 Apr. 1917. The Under State Secretary to the 39 Ibid. 43 

Minister in Bern. Swedish transit permit for the 
Russian revolutionaries. 

1 Apr. 1 9 1 7. The State Secretary to the Minister in 40 Ibid. 43 

Munich. Scheidemann and Ebert's journey. 

10 Apr. 1917. The Minister in Stockholm to the 4,1 Ibid. 44 

Foreign Ministry. Transit through Sweden. 

11 Apr. 1917. The State Secretary to the Minister in 42 Ibid. 44 

Bern. Transit through Sweden. 

1 1 Apr. 1 91 7. Memorandum by Ow-Wachendorf. 43 Ibid. 44 

Transit of the revolutionaries through Germany. 

12 Apr. 191 7. Memorandum by Ow-Wachendorf. 44 Ibid. 45 

A telephone message from Lersner at the Gen- 
eral Headquarters, 
if 6706 b 



GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 



13 Apr. 1 91 7. The Minister in Copenhagen to the 

Foreign Ministry. The arrival of the revolution- 
aries at Malmo. 

14 Apr. 1 91 7. The Minister in Bern to the Foreign 

Ministry. Hoffmann and Grimm, the Swiss 
Social Democrats. Grimm's journey to Petro- 
grad. 

15 Apr. 1917. The State Secretary to the Minister in 

Bern. Grimm's journey to Russia. 

16 Apr. 191 7. The State Secretary to the Minister in 

Bern. Scheidemann's and Ebert's relations with 
Grimm. 

16 Apr. 1917. The Minister in Bern to the Foreign 

Ministry. Grimm's journey to Russia. 

17 Apr. 1917. The Minister in Copenhagen to the 

Foreign Ministry. The activities of Helphand. 

21 Apr. 1 91 7. The Foreign Ministry Liaison Officer 
at the Imperial Court to the Foreign Ministry. 
Lenin's and Platten's entry into Russia. 

27 Apr. 1917. The Minister in Bern to the Foreign 
Ministry. The transit of the Mensheviks through 
Germany. 

30 Apr. 191 7. The Minister in Bern to the Chan- 
cellor. Conversation wirii Platten. 

1 May 191 7. The State Secretary to the Minister in 

Stockholm. A demonstration against Lenin. 

2 May 1917. The Minister in Stockholm to the 

Foreign Ministry. Lenin's position. 

9 May 191 7. The Counsellor of Legation in Bern to 
Minister Bergen. Bergen and the Social Revo- 
lutionaries. 

9 May 1 91 7. Memorandum by the Military Attache 
of the Bern Legation. Baier on the support of 
the peace movement in Russia. 

9 May 191 7. The State Secretary to the Minister in 

Stockholm. An introduction for Helphand. 

10 May 1917. The Under State Secretary to the 

Ministers in Stockholm and in Bern. Publication 
of pre-war agreements. 

18 May 1 91 7. The Minister at The Hague to the 

Chancellor. The Russian emigres in Holland. 

29 May 1 91 7. The State Secretary to the Foreign 
Ministry Liaison Officer at the Imperial Court. 
Report from the Minister in Sofia. 

3 June 1 91 7. The State Secretary to the Minister in 

Bern. Situation in Russia. 



45 WK 2 seer, 
volume 32 

46 Ibid. 



45 



47 


Ibid. 


48 


48 


WK 2 seer, 
volume 33 


49 


49 


Ibid. 


49 


5° 


Ibid. 


50 


51 


Ibid. 


51 


52 


WK 2 seer, 
volume 34 


5 1 



53 Ibid. 52 

54 Russland Nr. 6 1 , 53 
volume 129 

55 Ibid. 53 



56 WK 2 seer, 54 

volume 36 



57 


Bern mission file 
'Keskula' 


54 


58 


WK 2 seer, 
volume 35 


56 


59 


Ibid. 


57 


60 


WK 2 seer, 
volume 37 


57 


61 


WK 2 seer, 
volume 38 


60 


62 


WK 2 seer, 
volume 39 


61 



LIST OF DOCUMENTS 

15 June 1917. The Minister in Stockholm to the 63 
State Secretary. The German Social Democrats 
and peace with Russia. The Congress in Stock- 
holm. 

6 July 1 91 7. Foreign Ministry to the Liaison Officer 64 
at General Headquarters. Transport of Russian 
emigres from Brussels. 

1 1 July 191 7. The Counsellor of Legation in Stock- 65 
holm to the Chancellor. Negotiations between 
the Bolsheviks and the German Socialists. 

1 7 July 191 7. Memorandum for the State Secretary. 

Conversation with Helphand. 

26 July 1 91 7. The Chancellor to the Foreign Minis- 
try Liaison Officer at General Headquarters. 
Operations on the Eastern front. 

10 Aug. 1 91 7. The Minister in Copenhagen to the 
Foreign Ministry. Accusations against Lenin. 

18 Aug. 191 7. The Under State Secretary to the 

Minister in Copenhagen. Accusations denied. 

22 Aug. 1 91 7. The Legation in Copenhagen to the 
Foreign Ministry. Report for Erzberger. 

29 Sept. 1917. The State Secretary to the Foreign 
Ministry Liaison Officer at General Head- 
quarters. Report for Ludendorff. 

8 Nov. 1 91 7. The Minister in Stockholm to the 
Foreign Ministry. Riezler's request for funds. 

8 Nov. 191 7. The Minister in Stockholm to the 

Foreign Ministry. The German press and the 
revolution. 

9 Nov. 1917. The State Secretary to the Foreign 74 Ibid. 

Ministry Liaison Officer at General Head- 
quarters. The question of cease-fire and peace, 
i) Nov. 1917. The State Secretary of the Foreign 75 
Ministry to the State Secretary of the Treasury. 
A request for funds for political propaganda in 
Russia. 

9 Nov. 191 7. The Liaison Officer at General Head- 76 

quarters to the Foreign Ministry. LudendorfF's 
message for the Eastern Command. 
io Nov. 1 91 7. The Austro-Hungarian Foreign 77 
Minister to the Chancellor. Czernin's views on 
the events in Russia. 

10 Nov. 191 7. The Under State Secretary to the 78 

Minister in Stockholm. Funds for Riezler. 
1 1 1 Nov. 1 9 1 7. The Counsellor of Legation in Copen- 79 
hagen to the Foreign Ministry. Report on 
Lowenstein. 



xix 



66 



67 



68 



69 



70 



72 



73 



WK 2 seer, 


61 


volume 41 




WK 2 seer, 


63 


volume 44 




RusslandNr. 61, 


64 


volume 131 




WK 2 seer, 


66 


volume 45 




WK 2 seer. 


67 


volume 46 




WK 2 seer, 


68 


volume 47 




WK 2 seer, 


69 


volume 47 




Ibid. 


69 


Russland Nr. 63, 


70 


Nr. 1. seer, 




volume 5 




WK 2 seer, 


72 


volume 51 




Ibid. 


73 



WK 1 1 c seer, 
volume 23 



WK 2 seer, 
volume 51 

WK2fNr. 1, 
volume 1 

WK 2 seer, 
volume 51 

WK 2 seer, 
volume 52 



74 
75 

75 
76 

79 

79 



xx GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

ii Nov. 1917. The Under State Secretary to the 
Minister in Copenhagen. Answer to Lowen- 
stein's request. 

12 Nov. 1917. The Counsellor of Legation in Stock- 

holm to the Chancellor. The Bolsheviks in 
Stockholm. 

13 Nov. 1 91 7. The State Secretary to the Minister in 

Munich. Reply to the letter from Czernin. 

15 Nov. 191 7. The Minister in Bern to the Foreign 

Ministry. A message from the Soviet representa- 
tive in Stockholm. 

16 Nov. 191 7. The Under State Secretary to the 

Foreign Ministry Liaison Officer at General 
Headquarters. Request from Rakovsky. 

19 Nov. 191 7. The Minister in Stockholm to the 
Foreign Ministry. Helphand and Adolf Miiller. 

22 Nov. 1917. The Legation in Stockholm to the 
Foreign Ministry. The undertaking of Help- 
hand. 

22 Nov. 1917. The Minister in Bern to the Foreign 
Ministry. Transit of revolutionaries. 

25 Nov. 191 7. The Under State Secretary to the 

Foreign Ministry Liaison Officer. Transit of 
revolutionaries. 

26 Nov. 191 7. The Counsellor of Legation in Stock- 

holm to the Chancellor. The Bolsheviks in 
Stockholm. The activities of Erzberger. 

26 Nov. 191 7. The Minister in Stockholm to the 
Chancellor. Erzberger's discussions with the 
Bolsheviks. 

26 Nov. 191 7. The Minister in Bern to the Foreign 
Ministry. The activities of Baier. 

28 Nov. 191 7. The Under State Secretary to the 

Minister in Bern. Financial aid for the govern- 
ment in Petrograd. 

29 Nov. igi 7. The Liaison Officer at General Head- 

quarters to the Foreign Ministry. The Kaiser's 
wishes. 

3 Dec. 191 7. The State Secretary to the Foreign 

Ministry Liaison Officer at General Head- 
quarters. Germany and the Bolsheviks. 

4 Dec. 1 91 7. The Liaison Officer at Imperial Court 

to the Foreign Ministry. The Kaiser's views. 

5 Dec. 191 7. The Under State Secretary to the 

Foreign Ministry Liaison Officer at General 
Headquarters. The return of the revolutionaries 
to Russia. 



80 


WK 2 seer, 
volume 52 


80 


81 


Russland Nr. 61, 
volume 136 


81 


82 


WKafNr. 1, 
volume 1 


83 


83 


WK 2 seer, 
volume 52 


85 


84 


WK Nr. 1, 
volume 21 


85 


85 


WK 2 seer, 
volume 52 


86 


86 


WK 2f. Nr. 1, 
volume 1 


87 


87 


WK 2 seer, 
volume 52 


88 


88 


Ibid. 


89 


89 


Russland Nr. 61, 
volume 137 


89 


90 


WK 2 seer, 
volume 52 


9i 


9 1 


WK lie seer, 
volume 23 


93 


92 


Ibid. 


93 


93 


Deutschland 
Nr. 131 seer, 
volume 18 


93 



94 Ibid. 



95 Ibid. 

96 WK 2 seer, 
volume 53 



94 

96. 

96 



LIST OF DOCUMENTS 



r , Dec. 191 7. The Under State Secretary to the 
Political Section of the Deputy General Staff 
in Berlin. The return of the revolutionaries to 
Russia. 

5 Dec. 191 7. The Minister in Bern to the Foreign 
Ministry. The activities of Baier. 

7 Dec. 1917. Deputy Erzberger to the State Secre- 

tary. The representatives of the Soviet govern- 
ment abroad. 

8 Dec. 1 91 7. The Minister in Stockholm to the 

Foreign Ministry. Riezler's conversation with 
Vorovski. 

9 Dec. 1 91 7. The State Secretary to the Legation in 

Stockholm. Recognition of Bolshevik represen- 
tatives abroad. 

9 Dec. 191 7. The State Secretary to the Legation in 
Stockholm. The plans of Deputy Scheidemann. 

12 Dec. 191 7. The Minister in Stockholm to the 

Foreign Ministry. Riezler's conversation with 
Vorovski. 

13 Dec. 191 7. The Under State Secretary to the 

Liaison Officer at the Imperial Court. Recogni- 
tion of Bolshevik representatives. 

13 Dec. 1 91 7. The Deputy State Secretary to the 
Minister in Stockholm. Vorovski's activities. 

15 Dec. 1917. The Minister in Stockholm to the 

Foreign Ministry. Vorovski and peace nego- 
tiations. 

16 Dec. 1 91 7. The Liaison Officer at General Head- 

quarters to the Foreign Ministry. Ludendorff 's 
principles for peace discussions. 

17 Dec. 191 7. The Under State Secretary to the 

Minister in Copenhagen. Helphand's activities. 

18 Dec. 1917. The Minister in Stockholm to the 

Foreign Ministry. Helphand's activities. 

19 Dec. 191 7. The Under State Secretary to the 

Minister in Stockholm. Helphand's activities. 

24 Dec. 191 7. The Counsellor of Legation in Stock- 
holm to Minister Bergen. The role of Helphand 
in Stockholm. 

■.:(> Dec. 1917. Report from Herr Nasse. Soviet gov- 
ernment and peace. Radek's views. 

I Jan. 1918. The Deputy State Secretary to the 
Minister in Stockholm. Revolutionary appeals 
to Germany. 



97 Ibid. 



97 



98 VVK lie seer, 97 

volume 23 

gg Russland Nr. 61, 98 
volume 137 

100 WK 2 seer, 99 
volume 53 

101 Russland Nr. 61, 101 
volume 137 

102 WK 2 seer, 101 
volume 53 

103 Ibid. 103 



1 04 Russland Nr. 61 , 1 03 
volume 137 

105 VVK 2 seer, 104 
volume 53 

106 Ibid. 105 



107 Russland 106 
Politisches Nr. 1 , 
volume 1 

108 VVK 2 seer, 107 
volume 54 

109 Ibid. 108 

110 Ibid. 108 
in Ibid. 108 



112 Russland 1 1 o 
Politisches Nr. 1, 
volume 3 

1 1 3 Russland Nr. 61, 112 
volume 139 



GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 



g Jan. 1918. The Deputy State Secretary to the 
Foreign Ministry Representative at Eastern 
Command. Social Revolutionaries and peace. 

11 Jan. 1918. The Minister in Copenhagen to the 
Foreign Ministry. Situation in Petrograd. 

24 Jan. 1918. The Foreign Ministry Representative 
in Petrograd to the Chancellor. Situation in 
Petrograd. 

2 Feb. 191 8. The Deputy State Secretary to the 
Foreign Ministry. Representative at Eastern 
Command. Helphand's views. 

7 Mar. 1918. The Deputy State Secretary to the 

State Secretary. Roedern in Reichstag. 

11 Mar. 1918. The State Secretary to the Foreign 
Ministry. The results of Brest-Litovsk. 

30 Apr. 191 8. The Minister in Moscow to the Chan- 
cellor. Situation in Moscow. 

6 May 1918. The Liaison Officer at General Head- 
quarters to the Foreign Ministry. Report from 
Petrograd from a military source. 

8 May 191 8. The Liaison Officer at General Head- 

quarters to the Foreign Ministry. LudendorfF's 
views on the situation in Russia. 

I 
10 May 1918. The Minister in Moscow to the For- 
eign Ministry. The Entente and the Soviet 
government. 

13 May 1 918. The Minister in Moscow to the For- 
eign Ministry. Situation in Moscow. 

13 May 1 91 8. Record of a meeting at Spa. High- 
level discussion on the situation in Russia. 



15 May 1 918. The Minister in Moscow to the For- 

eign Ministry. Economic relations between 
Russia and Germany. 

16 May 1918. The Minister in Moscow to the Chan- 

cellor. Mirbach's discussion with Lenin. 

16 May 1918. The Minister in Moscow to the For- 
eign Ministry. The position of the Bolsheviks. 

18 May 1918. The State Secretary to the Minister in 
Moscow. Germany and the political situation 
in Russia. 

1 June 1 918. The State Secretary to the Minister in 
Moscow. The Bolsheviks and the Entente. 



114 WK 2 seer, 113 

volume 56 



volume 140 

1 1 6 Russland Nr. 61, 117 
volume 141 



117 Russland Nr. 61, 118 
volume 142 

1 1 8 WK 1 o seer, 119 
volume 10 



119 Ibid. 



"9 



120 


Russland Nr. 61, 
volume 152 


120 


121 


Ibid. 


122 


122 


Ibid. 


123 


123 


Deutschland 
Nr. 131, 
volume 38 


123 


124 


Russland Nr. 61, 
volume 152 


124 


125 


Oesterreich 
Nr. 95 seer, 
volume 5 


125 


126 


Deutschland 
Nr. 131, 
volume 38 


126 



127 Russland Nr. 61, 126 
volume 153 

128 Russland Nr. 61, 128 
volume 152 

129 Ibid. 128 



130 Russland Nr. 61, 129 
volume 154 



LIST OF DOCUMENTS 

3 June igi8. The Imperial Minister in Moscow to 131 
the Foreign Ministry. Request for funds. 



4june 1918. The Counsellor of Legation in Moscow 132 
to Minister Bergen. Situation in Moscow. Riez- 
ler's work there. 

8 June 1918. The State Secretary of the Foreign 133 

Ministry to the State Secretary of the Treasury. 
Funds for political purposes in Russia. 

9 June 1 9 1 8. The First Quartermaster General to the 1 34 

State Secretary. Ludendorff's views on policy 

towards Russia. 
11 June 1918. The State Secretary of the Treasury to 135 

the State Secretary of the Foreign Ministry. 

Funds for political purposes in Russia. 
25 June 1 9 1 8. The Minister in Moscow to the State 1 36 

Secretary. Mirbach's reflections. 



Deutschland 
Nr. 131 seer, 
volume 18 

RusslandNr. 61, 
volume 155 

Deutschland 
Nr. 131 seer, 
volume 18 

Deutschland 
Nr. 131, 
volume 40 

Deutschland 
Nr. 131 seer, 
volume 18 

Ibid. 



130 



130 



132 



134 



137 



137 



APPENDIXES 

I. Memorandum by Dr. Helphand, 9 March 191 5 
[I. A note on the Foreign Ministry, 1914-18 



140 
153 



INDEX 



155 



The Under State Secretary to the State Secretary 
(At the time at General Headquarters) 

TELEGRAM NO. 76 

A 934 Berlin, 9 January 19 15 

The Imperial Ambassador in Constantinople has sent the 
following telegram under No. 70. 

'The well-known Russian Socialist and publicist, Dr. Helphand, 
one of the main leaders of the last Russian Revolution, 
who was exiled from Russia and has, on several occasions, 
been expelled from Germany, has for some time been active 
here as a writer, concerning himself chiefly with questions of 
Turkish economics. Since the beginning of the war, Parvus's 
attitude has been definitely pro-German. He is helping Dr. 
Zimmer in his support of the Ukrainian movement and he also 
rendered useful services in the founding of Batsarias's newspaper 
in Bucharest. In a conversation with me, which he had requested 
through Zimmer, Parvus said that the Russian Democrats 
could only achieve their aim by the total destruction of Czarism 
and the division of Russia into smaller states. On the other hand, 
Germany would not be completely successful if it were not pos- 
sible to kindle a major revolution in Russia. However, there 
would still be a danger to Germany from Russia, even after the 
war, if the Russian Empire were not divided into a number of 
separate parts. The interests of the German government were 
therefore identical with those of the Russian revolutionaries, 
who were already at work. However, there was as yet a lack of 
cohesion between the various factions. The Mensheviks had not 
yet joined forces with the Bolsheviks, who had already gone into 
action. He saw it as his task to create a unity and to organize the 
rising on a broad basis. To achieve this, a congress of the leaders 
would first of all be needed — possibly in Geneva. He was pre- 
pared to take the necessary first steps to this end, but would 
need considerable sums of money for the purpose. He therefore 
requested an opportunity of presenting his plans in Berlin. He 
confidently expected an Imperial Circular holding out to the 
[German] Social Democrats the prospect of an immediate 

B 6706 B 



2 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

improvement in primary schools and in average working hours, 
as a reward for their patriotic attitude, to have a considerable 
effect not only on German Socialists serving in the Army, but 
also on Russians sharing his own political opinions. Parvus has 
today travelled via Sofia and Bucharest to Vienna, where he 
will have discussions with Russian revolutionaries. Dr. Zimmer 
will arrive in Berlin at the same time as Parvus, and will be 
available to arrange meetings with him. 

In Parvus's opinion, action must be taken quickly, so that the 
new Russian recruits will arrive at the front already con- 
taminated. Wangenheim' 

It would seem advisable for the Foreign Ministry to receive 
Parvus. 1 „ 

ZlMMERMANN 

1 The State Secretary replied to this telegram on 10 January: 'Please receive 
Dr. Helphand in Berlin. Jagow.' On the same day, telegrams were dispatched from 
the Foreign Ministry to Vienna (No. 142), Constantinople (No. 66), and Bucharest 
(No. 37), requesting these missions and Dr. Zimmer to keep Helphand's connexion 
with the Batsarias affair secret. A 1 1 10 in WK 1 ic seer, volume 3. 



The State Secretary to the Foreign Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. 40 

A 1451 General Headquarters, 13 January 1915, 12.20 a.m. 

Received: 13 January, 1.43 a.m. 

We intend to send Riezler 1 to meeting with Russian Revolution- 
ary Parvus in Berlin with more detailed instructions. Please 
telegraph time of Parvus's arrival to me here. Parvus must not 
know that Riezler comes from General Headquarters. 

Jagow 

1 Kurt Riezler, born 1882. In May 191 3 Riezler became a Permanent Assistant 
in the Foreign Ministry. In August 1914 he was detailed to attend the Kaiser at 
the General Headquarters. In January 1915 he was transferred to the Imperial 
Chancery. In September 191 7 Riezler went to the Legation in Stockholm as a 
Counsellor to run the newly created Russian section there. In April 1918 he was 
recalled to Berlin, and in the same month he left to work with Count Mirbach, the 
Minister in Moscow. After Mirbach 's assassination in July Riezler carried on the 
business of the Legation until his recall to Berlin at the end of August 1918. 



26 MARCH I915 3 

3 

1 1 err Frbhlich to Minister Bergen at the Foreign Ministry 

\ ,,,739 Berlin, 26 March 1915 

Subject: Dr. Alexander Helphand-Parvus 

I lie Deutsche Bank has sent me the transfer note for a further 
VNijDOO marks, which I enclose herewith. 

I should like to draw your attention to my letter of 20 March, 
in which I observed that Dr. Helphand requires a total of one 
million marks, 1 exclusive of losses incurred in exchange, and 
thai any such losses incurred in Copenhagen, Bucharest, and 
Zurich, together with any other expenses, will thus have to be 
borne by us. 

I would therefore ask you to make the necessary transfer to 

the 1 h'utsche Bank, so that I may be able to pay Dr. Helphand 

this difference also. « r 

Yours, &c, 

Frohligh 

1 1 Iclphand submitted his memorandum on the revolution in Russia to the 

I nrcign Ministry sometime at the beginning of March (see Appendix I). On 

(1 March 1915 Zimmermann wrote to Drews, the Under State Secretary of the 

I Inistry of Interior, asking him to free Helphand from any restrictions as to travel 

llllidc Germany, usually imposed on Russian subjects, and to provide Helphand 

1 1I1 :i police passport which he could use for travel in the neutral countries 

1 \ Ba68 in WK lie seer, volume 5). The day after, Zimmermann wrote to the 

'.|. iir Secretary of the Imperial Treasury, asking him for 2 million marks for the 

upporl of Russian revolutionary propaganda (AS 919, WK 11c seer, volume 5). 

1 in . request was approved on 1 1 March 191 5 (WK 11c seer, volume 6). 



4 

The State Secretary of the Foreign Ministry to the State 
Secretary of the Treasury 

l M o Berlin, 6 July, 1915 

I Ivc million marks are required here for the promotion of 

II vlulionary propaganda in Russia. As this sum cannot be 

covered out of the funds at our disposal, I would like to request 

'11 H ir Excellency to put it at my disposal by charging it to 

\i in lc VI, Section II of the extraordinary budget. I should be 



4 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

extremely grateful to Your Excellency if you would inform me 
what action is taken. 1 t.„«™» 

JAGOW 

1 The request was granted on 9 July. AS 3632 in WK 1 ic seer, volume 7. 



The Minister in Copenhagen to the Under State Secretary 
AS 4285 14 August 1915 

Your Excellency, 

Dr. Helphand, with whom I have recently had repeated and 
detailed conversation, yesterday told me that he had received 
a telegram from Arthur Cohn's Verlag fur Sozialwissenschaften 
in Munich, informing him that only the first part of his essay had 
arrived. With the permission of the Foreign Ministry, I had sent 
three further instalments, but these have not yet arrived in 
Munich. Dr. Helphand is worried because he is afraid that the 
essay may appear too late and not, as he intends, by i September 
at the outside. Perhaps Your Excellency could make sure that 
the dispatch of the manuscripts is undertaken at once. 

I have now got to know Helphand better, and I think that 
there can be no question that he is an extraordinarily important 
man whose unusual powers I feel we must employ for the dura- 
tion of the war and should, if at all possible, continue to use later 
on — whether we personally agree with his convictions or not. 
He has a plan, conceived on a grand scale, of which he has al- 
ready completed the first part, but, if the plan is not to be placed 
in jeopardy, he must be put into a position allowing him to pub- 
lish the whole treatise not later than i September. His intention 
is to work on the German Social Democrats with this essay, for 
he has evidence that there is a strong current of opinion among 
them which already regards Russia as 'defeated and prostrate 
on the ground' and which, setting out from this false premise, 
would now like to be sentimentally indulgent towards Russia. 
His aim is energetically to counter this very dangerous trend. He 
has therefore, for technical and practical reasons, made certain 
concessions to the Socialists in his essay, of which he does not 
himself approve but which he thinks must win him the degree 
of influence over the broad sections encompassed by the party 
as a whole necessary to assure him sufficient authority at this 



14 AUGUST 19 I 5 5 

1 ill leal moment, and to allow him later to step forward with 
mi independent programme entirely his own. 

I Iclphand told me that he was quite prepared to make altera- 
1 ions if he were given suitable hints to this effect, but that he 
wished to insist that the manuscript be sent to the publisher. 
Any corrections or alterations required could be made by the 
readers in Munich. 

' I 'his request seems perfectly justified to me, and I feel it neces- 
lary that it should be granted if Helphand's plan is not to be 
1 1 1 1 1 >cded. As soon as he has drawn public attention to himself, 
and lie does not doubt that he will succeed in doing this, he 
wants, in the middle of September, to publish a second essay, 
■ I i rected specially at Russia. Immediately after this he intends to 
proceed to the preparation of leaflets. 

I I elphand told me that he had been received by Your Excel- 
Icncy and that he had had the opportunity of presenting his 
plans in person. Dr. Zimmer, with whom I spoke on the occasion 

I il his last visit to Copenhagen, was going to report verbally on 

I I is most recent discussion with Helphand, so Your Excellency 
1 1 presumably well informed about these plans. As far as I can 
ICC from here, they have the approval of the Foreign Ministry 
.mi I the General Staff, whereas objections seem to have been 

I aised by the Ministry of the Interior and the Imperial Office 
.'I the Interior [Reichsamt des Innern]. I think that it is un- 
dcsirable that one-sided, and therefore short-sighted, objections, 
Prom whatever quarter, should be considered at this moment. 

( Hherwise we shall never achieve the great aim which I have 
It line my eyes. I have the hope that we shall not only emerge 
from this war as the external victors and the greatest power in 
the world, but also that, after the tremendous test that the Ger- 
111.111 workers, indeed — to avoid invidious comparisons — 'the 

non man' in particular, have now undergone, we may be 

able confidently to try to bring those elements to co-operate 
who, before the war, stood apart and seemed unreliable, and to 
rump them around the throne. 

1 1 might perhaps be risky to want to use the powers ranged be- 
liuiil Helphand, but it would certainly be an admission of our 
own weakness if we were to refuse their services out of fear of not 
being able to direct them. 

I have not yet abandoned this hope. 

' Those who do not understand the signs of our times will never 

I I nderstand which way we are heading or what is at stake at this 
moment. 



6 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

Your Excellency, this moment is too grave for us to indulge 
in sentimentality, so let me close. 

Yours, &c, 

Brogkdorff-Rantzau 



The Minister in Bern to the Chancellor 
report no. 794 

A 28659 Bern > 3° September 19 15 

The Estonian Keskiila 1 has succeeded in finding out the con- 
ditions on which the Russian revolutionaries would be prepared 
to conclude peace with us in the event of the revolution being 
successful. According to information from the well-known 
revolutionary Lenin, the programme contains the following 
points : 

1 . The establishment of a republic. 

2. The confiscation of large land-holdings. 

3. The eight-hour working day. 

4. Full autonomy for all nationalities. 

5. An offer of peace without any consideration for France, 
but on condition that Germany renounces all annexations 
and war-reparations. 

On Point 5, Keskiila has observed that this condition 
does not exclude the possibility of separating those national 
states from Russia which would serve as buffer states. 

6. The Russian armies to leave Turkey immediately — in 
other words, a renunciation of claims to Constantinople 
and the Dardanelles. 

7. Russian troops to move into India. 

I leave open the question as to whether great importance 
should in fact be attached to this programme, especially as 
Lenin himself is supposed to be rather sceptical of the prospects 
of the revolution. He seems to be extremely apprehensive of the 
counter-campaign recently launched by the so-called Social 
Patriots. According to Keskula's sources, this counter-move- 
ment is headed by the Socialists Axelrod, Alexinsky, Deutsch, 
Dneveinski, Mark Kachel, Olgin, and Plekhanov. They are 
unleashing vigorous agitation, and are supposed to have large 



30 SEPTEMBER I9I5 7 

financial resources, which they appear to draw from the govern- 
ment, at their disposal. Their activities could be all the more 
dangerous to the revolution as they are themselves old 
revolutionaries, and are therefore perfectly familiar with the 
techniques of revolution. In Keskiila's opinion, it is therefore 
essential that we should spring to the help of the revolutionaries 
of Lenin's movement in Russia at once. He will report on this 
matter in person in Berlin. According to his informants, the 
present moment should be favourable for overthrowing the 
government. More and more reports of workers' unrest are 
being received, and the dismissal of the Duma is said to have 
: 1 roused universal excitement. However, we should have to act 
quickly, before the Social Patriots gain the upper hand. 

I have the honour to enclose two agitationary publications of 
the Social Patriots, which they are supposed to be distributing 
in enormous quantities. 2 

Even if, as I have said, the prospects of a revolution are un- 
ccrtain and Lenin's programme is therefore of doubtful value, 
ils exploitation could still do invaluable service in enemy terri- 
tory. If skilfully distributed it could, in my opinion, be especially 
effective in France, in view of the notorious ignorance of the 
French in foreign, and particularly Russian affairs. If I receive 
no instructions from Your Excellency to the contrary, I shall 
give it to various French confidential agents for distribution 
iniong the ranks of the opposition. I can imagine that, by 
I 1| icning the prospect of a separate peace between Germany and 
the Russian Democrats, which would, of course, involve the loss 
of the French billions, one could provide the opposition with 
hi extremely valuable trump card to play against M. Delclasse 
Mid in favour of a separate peace with us. 3 

Lenin's programme must not, of course, be made public, first 
because its publication would reveal our source, but also be- 
i ause its discussion in the press would rob it of all its value. 

I feel that it should be put out in an aura of great secrecy, so that 

I I creates a belief that an agreement with powerful Russian 
■ ircles is already in preparation. 

Quite apart from the French aspect, I would ask you first of 
.ill to discuss this information with Keskiila, so that nothing 
may be spoiled by premature publication. R 

' Keskiila was a member of the Estonian National Committee, working, in 
iu ii/.ri land and in Sweden, for the independence of his country from the Russian 
I mpire. He was in contact with the German Legation in Bern from September 
i i|i .|. Later, he worked with Steinwachs, the German agent (see document No. 12). 



8 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

In April 1 91 7 Keskiila apparently negotiated with the representatives of the Allied 
countries, especially of England and Russia, in Stockholm. When he got to know 
about these negotiations, Steinwachs dropped him. His activities are well docu- 
mented in one of the Bern mission files, entitled 'Keskiila'. Cf. O. H. Gankin and 
H. H. Fisher, The Bolsheviks and the World War, Stanford University Press, 1 940, 
p. 249. 

2 Only one of these enclosures remains in the file, the other was lost. It is a collec- 
tion of essays entitled 'Voina'; Axelrodand Plekhanov were two of the contributors. 

3 Jagow's marginal note: 'I regard a distribution in France as dangerous; 
nothing ever remains discreet there. If this became public our work in Russia 
would become much more difficult, and the measures against the revolutionaries 
would be tightened. I shall telegraph Romberg to this effect.' The telegram (No. 
1081) was dispatched on 4 October (Russland Nr. 61, volume 123). 



The Minister in Copenhagen to the Chancellor 

REPORT NO. 489 

AS 6213 21 December 1915 

Dr. Helphand, who returned from Berlin yesterday, visited me 
today and gave me his report on the results of his journey. He 
emphasized that he had been extremely civilly received in all 
the most important government offices, and that he had been 
given the definite impression that his suggestions had found 
approval with authoritative circles, both in the Foreign 
Ministry and in the Treasury. With reference to his financial 
plan, 1 he had been given to understand that the State Secretary 
of the Treasury would have to decide whether there were any 
objections to his project from the point of view of the Imperial 
economy. In the course of a detailed discussion with State 
Secretary Helfferich he had been convinced that the State 
Secretary regarded his project very favourably, and that he not 
only agreed with it out of political considerations, but also recog- 
nized its utility from the less specific point of view of the 
Imperial economy. 

The State Secretary of the Treasury had only expressed 
doubts as to the immediate technical practicability of the pro- 
ject, saying that a delay of eight to ten months would be re- 
quired. At the same time, State Secretary Helfferich had pointed 
out that certain difficulties might be encountered in maintain- 
ing the absolute security which was essential for the technical 
preparations. 



2 I DECEMBER ig I 5 9 

Dr. Helphand stressed that, in these circumstances, there was 
even more reason to take the preparations in hand at once, 
since we shall in any case have to reckon with a third winter 
campaign and the course of action which he advocates may 
therefore become imperative. 

Dr. Helphand continued by saying that about 20 million 
roubles would be required to get the Russian revolution com- 
pletely organized. This total could not possibly be distributed 
.11 once, as there would then be a danger of its source being dis- 
covered. However, in view of the fact that the beginning of the 
action was imminent, he had suggested at the Foreign Ministry 
l hat the sum of one million roubles should at once be put at the 
disposal of his confidential agent. This confidential agent en- 
l irely shared his view that the revolution would be set in motion 
about 9-22 January and that, even if it did not immediately 

I ;ike hold of the whole country, it would certainly prevent any 
return to stable conditions from taking place. In 1905 the bour- 
geois parties had supported the revolution and had voluntarily 
paid the wages of the striking workers. Now, however, the bour- 
geoisie was unfavourable to the movement and the revolution- 
ary committee was therefore forced to bear the entire cost. On 
his return in about a week, his confidential agent would imme- 
diately start on the organization of connexions between the 
various revolutionary centres, but this could not be done with- 
out considerable financial means. 

In the circumstances, Dr. Helphand asked me to reiterate the 
request, which he had made personally in Berlin, for the sum 
he had named to be put at the disposal of his confidential agent. 

I I e expressly stated that speed was essential, as his confidential 
agent could not delay his return to Petrograd any longer but 
would definitely travel to Russia in a week at the most, even 
if he had not received the requested sum within that time. 

I should like to request Your Excellency to send me instruc- 
tions by telegram so that I can inform Dr. Helphand. May I 
also say that his suggestion is not, in my humble opinion, any 
.it tempt to press his own interests, but springs from practical 
considerations with no secondary personal aims. 

Brockdorff-Rantzau 

1 fMphand maintained that confidence in the rouble could be shattered in 
Russia and abroad by certain measures of the German Treasury. See report No. 
|i.'i, the Minister in Copenhagen to the Chancellor, 30 November 191 5; in WK 
1 m seer, volume 10. 



IO GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

8 

The State Secretary of the Treasury to the Under State 

Secretary 
as 6235 Berlin, 26 December 191 5 

Dear Zimmermann, 

I herewith return Count Brockdorff-Rantzau's report with 
many thanks. 1 

I did in fact treat Helphand with rather more restraint than 
he described at Copenhagen. In my opinion, there is a great 
deal of fantasy in his plans, particularly in his so-called 'financial 
plan', in which I hardly think we shall be able to involve our- 
selves. On the other hand, it would be worth discussing the 
possibility of putting at his disposal the million roubles for which 
he asks for the purposes of his propaganda. If the Foreign 
Ministry considers this expense both useful and justified, I shall 
not oppose it. In that case I would ask you to forward an 
application in the usual way, referring in it to our personal 
agreement. 

With hearty, if somewhat belated Christmas greetings. 

Yours, &c, 

Helfferich 

1 Document No. 7. 

9 

The State Secretary to the Minister in Copenhagen 

TELEGRAM NO. 952 

AS 6213 Berlin, 26 December 1915 

In reply to report No. 489 

Your Excellency is authorized to pay one million roubles to 
Helphand. The corresponding sum should be drawn from the 
Legation Cashier [Legationskasse] . T 

Note for Count Pourtales. 

Count Rantzau will have to be informed that Dr. Helffe- 
rich's opinion of H[elphand]'s fantastic financial project is by 
no means as favourable as HTelphandl thinks. T 

1 JAGOW 



I 8 JANUARY I 9 I 6 II 

10 

Herr Steinwachs to Minister Bergen 

AS 185 Berlin, 18 January 191 6 

I have the honour to send Your Excellency the following: 1 

1 . A letter from Keskula, dated 9 January 1 9 1 6. 

2 . A translation of the brochure of the central committee of 
the Russian Social Democratic Workers' Party. 

3. A translation of the publication on the execution of the 

Russian volunteers in France. c 

Steinwachs 

Enclosure : 

Stockholm, 9 January 191 6 
Dear Director, 2 

I was told today that something had arrived for me. I shall 
I >e going to the Mission tomorrow and will use the opportunity 
to deliver this letter. It is already 10.30 p.m. and I must be 
brief, especially as I have today been negotiating from 10 a.m. 
until 10.15 p.m. 

The clearing up of the Russian situation here, as far as 
organization is concerned, has been completed today and, at the 
same time, the clearing up of the confused situation in Russia 
has begun. I have great hopes of the action which has been set 
in motion. In my last letter I already indicated the nature of the 
results it is hoped to achieve, when I wrote : 'The situation de- 
mands an extension of my activities, and this extension must 
therefore take place.' 

I now have an ideal new collaborator and, through him, the 
possibility of working on the whole of Scandinavia as well as the 
whole of Russia. A small private publishing concern is to be set 
up to bring out pamphlets about Russia, and an information 
sheet, printed in Swedish, is to be founded for the revolutionary 
movement. In addition, Denmark and Norway, and possibly 
ol her European countries, are to be kept regularly informed of 
developments within the Russian revolutionary movement. For 
the distribution of our literature we have at our disposal the 
existing highly developed apparatus of the Socialist youth 
i irganizations here (over 600 hawkers in Sweden alone) . 

At the same time, a central office for the support of the 
revolutionary movement (through agitation and collections of 



12 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

money) is to be set up, and will be open to the public. This cen- 
tral office will support the Russian movement — both morally 
and materially — quite openly and without consulting the leaders 
or Russian revolutionary centres outside Russia. For the latter 
group it will simply supply the means for publishing literature 
to be sent to Russia and, possibly, for its actual transport. At the 
end of this week, my confidential agent will be travelling to 
Russia (for about four weeks) to discuss financial support from 
Western Europe with the revolutionary centres inside Russia. 
At the same time he will settle where and how information 
about the Russian movement is to be sent to him. The agent in 
question has first-class connexions, so that the discussions will, 
I hope, go smoothly. The position here had to be put back on 
a healthy footing because considerable corruption had crept in. 
(Embezzlement at the expense of the revolutionary movement, 
presentation of false facts in order to extract money, &c.) 
I therefore threw the offenders overboard, cleared up the situa- 
tion and increased both the scale and the intensity of the under- 
taking. This has made such demands on me, that I have had no 
time for anything else. 

Tomorrow I shall begin my survey of the Russian situation 
and, if nothing else of particular importance arises, I shall also 
deal with the Frankfurter £eitung. 

Tomorrow I shall be sending you a telegram saying that the 
mail from Stockholm to Switzerland is being searched for 
Russian documents. Today, or in the next few days, some 
highly interesting revolutionary documents from Russia are 
being sent to Lenin. I read through them yesterday, but had no 
chance to make copies of them. Could you please be so kind as 
to return them to me, as it is essential that some of them be 
copied and distributed in Russia. They call for an armed rising 
and for the organization of military mutinies. One of them — 
the product of a Moscow 'Welfare Committee' — which suggests 
a dictatorial Directorate for Russia, to consist, among other 
people, of MM. Guchkov, Lvov and Kerenski (sic\), is ex- 
tremely amusing. Judging by its comico-sentimental torrent of 
verbiage, this must be a call from the right wing of the so-called 
'Popular Nationalists' [Volkstuemler], Some of these documents 
are extremely interesting for the insight which they give into the 
stage of development reached by the revolutionary movement 
at the end of 19 15. They already show all the symptoms which 
appeared in the summer of 1905. On the ideological side, the 
present Russian revolutionary movement must be regarded, in 



I 8 JANUARY igi 6 13 

its essentials, as being perfectly mature and ready. All that can 
possibly remain to be done is some further formulation of details. 
The transformation of the revolutionary movement into an 
active one is now only a question of agitation and, above all, of 
organization. I should particularly like to recommend these 
documents to the attention of Baron von L. 3 Due to their ex- 
tremely poor printing and preparation, the leaflets have only 
cultural and historical value, but they will perhaps remind you 
of your promise to send some typographical material. I would 
ask you to handle the papers with all possible care, as I do not 
want Lenin's joy at the receipt of his Russian Christmas present 
decreased in any way. In other words, they should first be sent 
here. From here they will be returned for forwarding to the 
addressee. At the end of the week, the second Russian brochure 
of the Central Committee of the Russian Social Democrats (i.e. 
Lenin) will be appearing. It lay in the pending tray for two 
months (while I was in Berlin) because the money which I had 
paid out before my departure had been stolen with typical 
Russian sang-froid. Yesterday I paid the sum out again. I have 
already indicated what reprisals I took. If this sort of thing 
happens in and around the Central Committee, I dare not think 
what must be happening on the fringes. Even the revolution has 
to be forced on these Russians with police truncheons in order 
to prevent them from making off with it. I mention this as an 
illustration of all the complications that have to be faced here. 
I will write more later.* YourSj &c _ 

A. Stein 5 

1 Only the first enclosure, i.e. the letter from Keskiila to Steinwachs, is printed 
here. The German translation of the two pamphlets can be found in the same file, 
WK nc seer, volume 11. 

2 i.e. Steinwachs, who was an agent of the General Staff. Apart from his political 
work in the field of separatist and revolutionary movements in Russia he had some 
industrial interests in Sweden. He was working independently of Helphand, but 
had contacts with him from the summer of 1 915. In a request to the Admiralty to 
print Russian revolutionary propaganda, Zimmermann wrote in June 1915: 
'Steinwachs is responsible for the composition of the propaganda literature' 
(A 17293 in WK nc seer, volume 7). In the summer of 1916 Steinwachs was sent 
on a special mission to Rumania. After his return in the winter of 1 916 he was sent 
back to Stockholm and attached, with his assistants, to the German Legation 
there. 

In the spring of 191 8 the Swedish and Danish police became interested m the 
activities of German agents on their territory. Rondorf, one of Steinwachs's 
accomplices, was deported, Helphand's flats in Stockholm and Copenhagen were 
searched, and in May 1918 Hiilsen, the head of the Political Section of the Deputy 
General Staff, recalled Steinwachs and his assistants (Count Adelmann, Buchholtz, 
Appenroth, and Stroh) from Stockholm. In the last stages of the war Steinwachs 
conducted anti-Swedish propaganda from Finland. 



14 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

3 This was probably Baron Langwerth von Simmern in the Foreign Ministry. 

4 On I February Keskiila dispatched another long letter to Steinwachs (Bern 
mission, file 'Keskiila'). He complained of complications which followed Help- 
hand's attempt to see Bukharin at the end of January 191 5. Bukharin apparently 
refused to see Helphand. At the same time, the excitable Russian emigres started 
to suspect Keskiila. But, by the time he wrote the letter, all damage, according to 
Keskiila, had been repaired. He wrote : 'How helpless these Russians are as far as 
purposeful organization is concerned is proved by the fact that Bukharin was de- 
nouncing me, seeking information about me ; during the day he was running round 
the town looking for my address, and at night he could not sleep. At the same time, 
the enclosed pamphlet was printed at my expense, without Bukharin knowing 
this, and yet to his great pleasure.' 

The enclosed pamphlet by Bukharin was entitled The War and the Working Class. 
In Keskiila's opinion it was suitable for distribution among the broad masses and 
he recommended Steinwachs that a larger edition should be printed on rice paper. 
The edition on normal paper was intended for distribution among the revolution- 
aries abroad; a large part of the first rice-paper edition had, according to Keskiila, 
reached the other side of the Finnish frontier safely. 

Keskiila also reported that his agent, who had first-class connexions and recom- 
mendations, had reached Petrograd. He commented that the amusing thing was 
that his agent also had a letter of introduction from Bukharin to Mme Bukharin. 

In his letter, Keskiila divided his work into three phases: (1) work among the 
emigre's in Switzerland, (2) work in Stockholm, the Russian 'bridgehead', (3) direct 
connexion with Russia. Keskiila wrote that, with the departure of his agent for 
Petrograd, the third stage of his work had been reached. 

5 Keskiila's cover name. 



11 

The Minister in Copenhagen to the Chancellor 

REPORT NO. 19 

AS 293 23 January 191 6 

Dr. Helphand, who has returned to Copenhagen after spending 
three weeks in Stockholm, where he conferred with Russian 
revolutionaries, has told me the following, in confidence: 

The sum of a million roubles which was put at his disposal, 
was immediately sent on, and has already reached Petrograd 
and been devoted to the purposes for which it was intended. 
Helphand insisted on beginning the action on 22 January. How- 
ever, his confidential agents advised him against this with the 
utmost firmness, saying that immediate action would be pre- 
mature, and painted the following picture of the present 
situation : 

The decision of the organizations to launch into revolutionary 
action is still firm and unchanged, but, in the last two months, 
the political situation has altered in such a way that it now 
appears inadvisable to strike immediately. 



23 JANUARY ig I 6 15 

The opposition of the bourgeois parties to a revolutionary 
rising has stiffened and is now, if anything, more determined 
than before. The government, too, has not been idle, and has 
certainly moved skilfully in an effort to counter the revolution- 
ary movement. It has called several men who, before the war, 
were spokesmen of the revolutionaries to leading positions and 
has, in this way, considerably weakened the movement. Fur- 
thermore, it has taken measures to relieve the food shortage 
in Petrograd, which was threatening to become acute. Among 
other things, the passenger traffic between Petrograd and Mos- 
cow was stopped for a time to allow the rapid transport of food 
to Petrograd. 

The most serious obstruction, however, is the attitude of the 
right wing, which would like to use a rising for its own purposes. 
In the revolutionary camp it is feared that, should there be a 
rising at this moment, the reactionaries would mingle with the 
ranks of the revolutionaries in order to give the movement the 
character of anarchy. The revolutionaries are not certain that 
they control the masses sufficiently to remain masters of the 
movement, should these masses get onto the streets. These are 
the considerations which are determining the postponement of 
the revolutionary rising until the moment when this certainty 
is realized. 

The peace propaganda of the reactionaries is also com- 
promising a rising which is intended to serve a revolutionary 
purpose. While all these factors are not regarded as strong 
enough to prevent a revolutionary rising, they are considered 
to be sufficiently important to make any premature rising in- 
advisable. It is not impossible that the summoning of the Duma 
may call forth further political conflicts and cause the revolu- 
tionary action to break out sooner than might be deduced from 
the present views of the leaders. The leaders of the revolutionary 
movement now hold the view that, in the circumstances and 
if no unexpected change develops in the situation, it is essential 
to continue to adopt a waiting position, in order to be sure, not 
only of bringing sufficient masses onto the streets, but also of 
being able to maintain control of them at the moment the signal 
is given. 

The parties on the right are inclined towards making peace, 
and it is also thought that the government could be brought to 
favour peace. The attitude of the Minister of the Interior, 
Chvostov, is uncertain. While he stands in the closest possible 
connexion with the reactionary parties, he has, in a confidential 



16 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

conversation with leading personalities, said that he was 'the fore- 
most revolutionary of Russia' and that it was essential that Czar 
Nicholas be deposed. Chvostov arranged to be asked, at a session 
of a committee of the Duma, whether he was aware that there 
was a faction working for peace forming in Court circles. He 
answered that this was a false rumour and that he had expelled 
the person to whom it might refer, Mile Vasilchikov, from 
Petrograd. 

According to an extremely reliable source, the whole of the 
Entente Treaty was read out at the congress of the right-wing 
parties. On this occasion, particular attention was drawn to a 
clause stating that, in the event of the royal palaces being 
threatened by an enemy or of a revolution breaking out in the 
country, Russia would be free to conclude a separate peace. 
There is no doubt that this document was read out, but it re- 
mains questionable whether or not it was authentic. 

Brockdorff-Rantzau 



12 

Herr Steinwachs to Minister Bergen 

MEMORANDUM 

as 1631 Berlin, 8 May 1916 

According to a statement of account dated 28 April, the credit 
of 130,000 marks, paid to me by the Foreign Ministry at the 
end of September 191 5 for Russian propaganda, is not only 
totally exhausted, but closed with a deficit of 1,011.93 marks. 
This deficit was paid to me today by the Mission Cashier. 

Your Excellency later, i.e. in December 1915, agreed to the 
payment of a further 60,000 marks, which Herr Keskiila was 
to spend in three monthly instalments on Russian propaganda. 
Of this sum I succeeded in retaining 50,000 marks, through 
savings on the credit of 130,000 marks. I have since supplied 
most of the remaining 10,000 marks out of my own means. 
Furthermore, the original credit has been used to support 
several more or less successful new undertakings and prepara- 
tions, about which I have received verbal reports from time to 
time. 

Finally, as agreed with your Excellency, 2,000 roubles and 
1,500 Swiss francs were put at the disposal of the Political Sec- 



8 MAY i 9 I 6 17 

tion of the General Staff of the Army for Prince Matchabelli's 
undertaking. 1 

Considerable sums will be needed at once, or in the next few 
weeks or months, for the following undertakings : 

1 . In the last few months, Keskula has opened up numerous 
new connexions with Russia, and, he has on several occasions 
sent Scandinavian Socialists to Russia with introductions to 
leading personalities who so effectively enlightened them on the 
subject of the situation in Russia, that the reports published 
later aroused admiration amongst the various Socialist circles 
in the North. He has also maintained his extremely useful con- 
tact with Lenin, and has transmitted to us the contents of the 
situation reports sent to Lenin by Lenin's confidential agents in 
Russia. Keskula must therefore continue to be provided with 
the necessary means in the future. Taking into account the 
exceptionally unfavourable exchange conditions, 20,000 marks 
per month should be just sufficient. 

2. Litchev has now begun all his preparations (i.e. the offices 
in Stockholm and Haparanda) and has started to gather 
together all the Russian revolutionaries living in the various 
cities of Scandinavia in order to exploit their particular capabil- 
ities. He has had several very effective pamphlets printed in 
Stockholm, and has got them into Russia by a safe route. 
I therefore humbly request your permission to pay him 6,000 
marks per month for the next three months. 

3. Klein has also successfully introduced a number of im- 
portant information sheets and small pamphlets into Russia. 
He has also set up an information service on the station at 
Stockholm, which explains to Russians returning from America 
and Canada the possibilities of avoiding mobilization in the 
Russian army, or, if their mobilization is unavoidable, con- 
vinces them, with pictures and by word of mouth, of the good 
treatment enjoyed by Russian prisoners of war in Germany. 
A simple picture-book, containing pictures of prisoner-of-war 
camps in Germany and of the life led by the prisoners in them, 
together with notes detailing the conditions there, is to be pro- 
duced for this information service and also for distribution in 
the Russian trenches. Klein receives a salary of 300 marks per 
month, and the expenses incurred by his other activities will 
now amount to 700 marks per month. I would also ask you to 
put 3,000 to 4,000 marks at my disposal for the printing costs 
of the proposed picture-book. 

4. I estimate the cost of our private printing establishment, 

B 6706 C 



18 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

which is to start work this month, at 800 to 1,000 marks per 
month, for the moment. This printing works will then do all 
the necessary printing for Klein, Litchev and Keskula. 

5. The various costs for translation and printing of a book 
describing conditions in Russia by means of reports by Russian 
members of the Duma, which is to be printed in several lan- 
guages, will probably amount to 1 0,000 marks. 

I therefore request Your Excellency to agree and provide the 
following sums : 2 

M 

1. Keskula. Remainder of March, April, May, June 70,000 

2. Litchev. May, June, July 18,000 

3. Klein. April, May, June (Salary, Organization, 

Book) 7,000 

4. Printing works in Stockholm 2,000 

5. Duma reports 10,000 

6. Smaller undertakings, travel, small printing jobs, 

&c. 23,000 

Mi 30,000 

May I ask Your Excellency to transfer this sum to Deposit 
Account A in the Deutsche Bank? „ 

STEINWACHS 

1 The Georgian separatist movement. 

2 Marginal note by Bergen for Mathieu, in the Personnel Department of the 
Foreign Ministry : 'Presented with the request to transfer the sum of 1 30,000 marks. 
Will you please see to it that this sum is transferred from the Russian account?' 



13 

The Minister in Bern to the Chancellor 

REPORT NO. 1885 

AS 3061 24 August 1916 

Subject: Connexions with a Russian Social Revolutionary 

Baron Hennet, who has been attached to the Military Office of 
the Austro-Hungarian Legation, yesterday, with the approval 
of the Austro-Hungarian Military Attache, introduced me to a 
Russian Social Revolutionary called Zivin. The immediate rea- 
son for this was that Zivin wishes to travel from here to Sweden 
through Germany. 

Baron Hennet told me the following about Zivin : 

Over a year ago, quite by chance, Zivin got to know the 



24 AUGUST igi6 19 

Austro- Hungarian Consul at Davos, who introduced him to the 
Austro-Hungarian Legation. Zivin belongs to the Social 
Revolutionary party and has excellent connexions with its lead- 
ing members, e.g. Chernov and Bobrov. He took part in the 
revolutionary movement of 1905 and 1906, was in prison for a 
while, but was soon released and, since then, has lived in 
Switzerland. He promised to set revolutionary and pacifist 
propaganda in motion among the Russian prisoners of war in 
Austria, and in Russia itself. 

After this, Zivin was twice sent to Austria, once in the autumn 
of last year and once at the beginning of this year. Baron Hennet 
stressed that the relevant military authorities had formed an 
excellent impression of Zivin and had declared themselves 
ready to put considerable financial means at his disposal. 

At the time, Zivin visited several prisoner-of-war camps. It 
was also intended that he should have an opportunity of finding 
a few suitable people, who were later to be sent to Russia from 
Switzerland. 

Later, Zivin for a time provided the Russian prisoners in 
Austria with suitable literature from Switzerland. However, the 
sending of publications and books met with difficulties because 
some of the Austrian camp commandants refused to distribute 
Socialist literature among their prisoners. 

Zivin subsequently had to abandon his plan to send freed 
I >risoners to Russia, as he did not have enough time, during his 
short visits to the prisoner-of-war camps, to test the reliability 
of the prisoners who were presented to him. In these circum- 
stances he did not want to risk the possibility of the prisoners 
betraying him and his plans after their arrival in Switzerland. 

However, he did send a number of other people to Russia, 
and these have worked for his party there. Amongst other things, 
printing works have been set up where manifestos have been 
printed, and these have been widely distributed, especially 
through the military organization founded by the Social 
Revolutionaries. 

Zivin showed Baron Hennet a few of these manifestos, some 
of them in their original form. He has also reported regularly 
to Baron Hennet on the activities of the Social Revolutionary 
party and of the committees which it has in many places, and 
on conditions inside Russia. He was not able to give detailed 
proofs of the success of his confidential agents, but, in view of 
1 lie exceptional difficulty of maintaining communications with 
Russia, this is not really surprising. However, Zivin claims that 



20 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

certain terrorist acts which he had predicted and which then 
actually took place, were the outcome of the activities of men 
of his party. Zivin had also been in an awkward position because 
his party could not be allowed to know the source of the money 
which had been put at his disposal. He had, in any case, been 
very modest in his demands ; in the eleven months during which 
he has been connected with the Austro-Hungarian Legation he 
has only received a total of 140,000 francs. 

Baron Hennet told me that both he and Colonel von Einem 
[the Military Attache] were very satisfied with Zivin's work, 
and that they had confidently expected more useful services from 
him in the future. 

About three weeks ago, however, the Austro-Hungarian High 
Command suddenly declared that Zivin had 'shown insufficient 
energy' and that no further payments should therefore be made 
to him. 

Zivin was thus put into a very awkward position. In expecta- 
tion of further financial support, he had entered into obligations 
which he cannot now honour. He is therefore forced to instruct 
his confidential agents to cease their activities, or at least to 
limit them severely. He now wants to travel through Germany 
to Sweden in order to explore the possibility of finding funds 
there for the continuation of his activities. However, he would 
prefer to stay in Switzerland, as he can work better and more 
safely here. One of the most important members of his party, 
Bobrov, who is in continual contact with Russia, is living here, 
and Zivin seems to attach great value to his connexions with 
him. The leader of the party, Chernov, was also here until last 
May, but he left for Russia at that time, and, since then, Zivin 
has heard nothing from him. 

Baron Hennet confessed to me that he was extremely sorry 
not to be able to go on supporting Zivin, whom he regarded as 
an honest man. Even the High Command had emphasized that 
they did not distrust Zivin: they were merely of the opinion that 
he lacked energy. It is not clear what it actually was that induced 
the Austrian High Command to drop Zivin. It would appear 
that they had illusions about the possibility of speedily creating 
a revolutionary mood in Russia, and that they had even ex- 
pected immediately apparent military effects on the organiza- 
tion behind the front. When Brusilov's offensive disappointed 
these expectations, then the Austro-Hungarian army may have 
lost patience and decided that further expense towards these 
ends was superfluous. 



24 AUGUST 1916 21 

Zivin, who made a not unfavourable impression on me, 
rightly stresses the fact that no revolutionary organization 
worthy of the name existed before the war, and that all this had 
to be created during the war in face of enormous difficulties. 
The most important consideration was that the wealthy Liberal 
circles who, at the time of the revolutionary movement of 1905, 
had supported the efforts of the Social Revolutionaries, had 
become patriots at the outbreak of the World War and had 
come out in favour of war. In these circumstances, the revolu- 
tionary movement could only make slow progress and was de- 
pendent on outside support. Nevertheless, the organization was 
gaining more and more ground, both behind the front and at 
the front itself. Its followers numbered hundreds of thousands, 
and even many army officers were members of the party. More 
and more people were now growing weary of the war. The next 
aim of the Social Revolutionary party was to work for a quick 
end to the war. The party's real programme could not be put 
into effect until the war had ended. On this aim to end the war 
quickly, the interests of the party and of the Central Powers 
therefore ran parallel to one another. The furtherance of 
revolutionary propaganda would, on the one hand, make it 
more difficult for the Russian government to continue the war, 
and, on the other hand, would also strengthen the desire of the 
reactionary government for peace. 

Zivin gave me some information about the progress of the 
revolutionary propaganda, and this agreed on many points with 
the information I have received from the other side, e.g. from 
Keskula. 

Zivin would be extremely sorry now suddenly to have to give 
up his support of his friends. The whole organization had been 
well run-in, and it would be a great pity if it now had to be 
largely broken up. His friends in the party could hardly expect 
to be granted the necessary funds from another source at the 
present time. He would nevertheless be quite prepared to try 
and find these funds in Stockholm, and he would therefore be 
grateful for permission to travel through Germany, as he could 
not count on reaching Sweden via England, since the English 
were, at the moment, only allowing Russians to travel to Sweden 
in very rare and exceptional cases. Of course there was a danger 
1 hat his journey through Germany might compromise him with 
his party friends, and they must naturally not be allowed to 
know that he was in contact with us and the Austrians. 

When I asked him how much money he needed to continue 



22 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

his work, he answered that he required 25,000 francs, which 
would last for the first three or four weeks. However, he would 
have to receive this sum very soon, as he had already kept his 
friends waiting for three weeks through no fault of his own, and 
would have to give them a definite answer in the immediate future 
as to whether they could continue to count on his support or not. 

I naturally limited myself to hearing what M. Zivin had to 
say, without giving him any kind of promise. I do not know 
whether we have connexions with the Russian Socialists, and 
I am therefore not in a position to judge whether a connexion 
with M. Zivin would be desirable for us. However, judging by 
what Baron Hennet told me about Zivin, there seems to me to 
be some reason to believe that we could establish extremely use- 
ful contacts with the Social Revolutionaries through him. In 
my opinion, there is no doubt that we could derive advantages 
from such contacts. It is, of course, hard to prophecy how far, 
apart from the information from Russia which we could receive 
through Zivin, we could count on practical action on the part of 
his confidential agents. Baron Hennet thinks that there is no 
reason to doubt the truth of Zivin's assurance that we could 
count on the Social Revolutionary party to succeed in helping 
to shorten the war considerably. Zivin himself says — and, in my 
opinion, this speaks in his favour — that he cannot yet say 
definitely what measure of success his friends would have or 
when they could act decisively. This would depend on the 
overall situation. However, they were certain to be successful 
in the long run. 

Since I am not sufficiently well informed about the situation 
in Russia, I must beg to leave the decision as to whether or not 
I should open relations with M. Zivin to Your Excellency. 
I would recommend that contact be maintained on a probation- 
ary basis in any case, and that Zivin's successes be observed for 
a few weeks. The advantage of a connexion with Zivin lies in 
the fact that he is himself an active member of a Russian party 
who is not suspected of having relations with us, whereas those 
agents whose relations with us are known do not enjoy any 
credit in their party, and can therefore neither find out much, 
nor exercise any influence on developments in any sphere. It 
would certainly be a pity if the whole apparatus which has been 
built up with Austrian funds were to be wasted and not used, 
quite apart from the fact that the propaganda, which is indubit- 
ably serving our aims, would considerably diminish if the 
subsidies stopped. 



24 AUGUST I916 23 

I would therefore suggest that M. Zivin be given the 25,000 
francs he needs, but that he be told that we must reserve our 
final decision as to whether we intend to maintain a permanent 
connexion with him. 1 

Since M. Zivin must inform his agents immediately whether 
or not they are to cease work, I would ask for a reply as soon as 
possible. 

I should also like to ask Your Excellency to treat this matter 
with the utmost confidence, as Baron Hennet gave me the in- 
formation in strictest confidence. The matter was discussed only 
between the Austro-Hungarian Legation and the Austro- 
Hungarian High Command: Austro-Hungarian diplomatic 
circles have no knowledge of it. It might also be advisable not 
to make any inquiries from the Austro-Hungarian High Com- 
mand, even though Baron Hennet assured me that he had no 
objections to such inquiries being made. I nevertheless think 
that an inquiry might make some unpleasantness for Baron 

Hennet and Colonel von Einem. ~ 

Romberg 

1 On 30 August the State Secretary approved the request for 25,000 francs, but 
reserved his right to make a decision on further relations with Zivin (Telegram 
No. 599 in WK. lie seer, volume 15). Before January 1 9 1 7, when Zivin went to 
Norway via Germany, he received three more payments of 25,000 francs each. On 
1 9 February he returned to Bern. His request for a further 30,000 francs was turned 
down by the Secretary of State on 6 March (Telegram No. 271). On 17 March 
Zimmermann changed his mind and approved the payment, and promised three 
further instalments of 5,000 francs each. Documents on Zivin's connexions with 
the Minister in Bern are in the subsequent volumes of WK 1 1 c seer. Cf. document 
No. 56 and footnote 1. 

Editorial note 

Between September 19 16 and March 191 7 the Foreign Ministry con- 
tinued to receive regular reports on the situation in Russia, and to 
support various separatist movements, especially the Finnish and the 
Ukrainian. But the only evidence of the continued interest of the 
Foreign Ministry in the revolution in Russia is the reports from 
Romberg on his contacts with Zivin, the Social Revolutionary. 

Whatever the hopes of the Imperial government may have been 
for the conclusion of a separate peace with the existing order in 
Russia in the summer and autumn of 191 6, the Germans themselves 
signed their death warrant by issuing the Imperial Manifesto on 
6 November, concerning the future of the occupied territory in 
Poland. No Russian government, apart from a revolutionary one, 
could have been expected to sign a peace treaty with an enemy who 
planned to detach a large part of territory on Russia's western 
frontier. 



24 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

At the same time, in November 1916, Zimmermann took over the 
direction of German foreign policy from Jagow. He remained in 
office, assisted by two Under State Secretaries, Bussche and Stumm, 
till Kiihlmann replaced him in August 191 7. The first intimation of 
the March revolution reached Wilhelmstrasse on 23 February. 
Lucius reported from Stockholm : T hear from an important Entente 
personality who has just arrived here from Petrograd that a mighty 
internal political change is being prepared there. Events of the most 
far-reaching importance can be expected within this month' (AS 
791 in WK lie seer, volume 19). 

On 1 April 1 9 1 7 the Foreign Ministry sent a request to the Trea- 
sury for a further 5 million marks to be used for political purposes in 
Russia. The request was approved on 3 April (AS 1091 and AS 1295 
in WK 1 1 c seer, volume 19). Because of the large amounts allocated, 
Count Roedern, the new State Secretary of the Treasury, asked the 
Foreign Ministry for what purposes these funds had been employed. 
Once again, because of the confidential nature of the request, the 
matter was settled by word of mouth between the two Ministries. 

From the spring of 1915 till the autumn of 191 6 the policy of sup- 
port of the revolution in Russia was, to a high degree, a matter of 
administrative routine for the Foreign Ministry. At the same time, 
attempts at a separate peace between the established regime in 
Russia and Germany were carried on by conservative politicians, 
bankers, industrialists, and members of noble houses on both sides. 
After the first Russian revolution the picture changed profoundly. 

After March, the Germans were faced with a revolutionary govern- 
ment ; they had to distinguish between those revolutionaries willing 
to conclude a separate peace and those inclined to continue the 
struggle against the Central Powers on the side of the Entente. The 
Warburgs and Kolyshkos, the Stinneses and Bebutovs disappeared 
from the limelight. 

Their place was taken by Social Democrat politicians and a few 
members of other parties of the majority in the Reichstag. The 
Social Democrats, remembering the inheritance of the Second Inter- 
national, and seeing that the Tsarist regime, to them the 'bulwark of 
European reaction', had disappeared, made repeated and unco- 
ordinated attempts to come to an agreement with the Russian 
revolutionaries, often over the head of their own government. They 
were zealous to reap the glory of bringing about, if not a general, at 
least a separate peace. The German government, still pursuing its 
policy of a separate peace in order to reduce the war to a one-front 
engagement, had often to intervene and put a stop to such meri- 
torious, but unofficial activities. 



2 1 MARCH igi 7 25 

14 

The Minister in Copenhagen to the Foreign Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. 476 

A 9384 21 March 191 7, 12.55 P- m - 

Received: 21 March, 4.00 p.m. 

Dr. Helphand, with whom I discussed events in Russia, ex- 
plained that, in his opinion, the conflict was now primarily be- 
tween the moderate liberals and the Socialist wing. He had no 
doubt that the latter would gain the upper hand. However, the 
victory of the Social Democrats in Russia would mean peace. 
The men at present in power apparently wished to continue the 
war, and the leaders of the faction in favour of this policy were 
Miliukov and Guchkov. Both these men would try to delay the 
convening of the Constituent National Assembly, since they knew 
that the moment the National Assembly had any influence, the 
continuation of the war would be out of the question. 

When I asked him what he considered the attitude of the 
army to be, Dr. Helphand replied that there might well be some 
desire to continue the war among the Officer Corps, and 
especially among the higher-ranking officers, but that the rank 
and file wanted peace, and that it was highly significant that the 
ordinary soldiers, without exception, fraternized with the 
workers. 

Dr. Helphand believes that as soon as the amnesty for political 
offenders comes into force, there will be an opportunity to work 
effectively against Miliukov and Guchkov through direct con- 
tact with the Socialists. Brogkdorff-Rantzau 

15 

The State Secretary to the Foreign Ministry Liaison Officer 
at General Headquarters 

TELEGRAM NO. 46 I 

AS 1 1 25 Berlin, 23 March 191 7 

The Imperial Minister in Bern has sent the following telegram: 
'Federal Counsellor [Bundesrat] Hoffmann has been told that 



26 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

leading Russian revolutionaries here wish to return to Russia 
via Germany as they are afraid to travel via France because of 
the danger from submarines. Please send instructions in case 
applications to this effect should be made to me. Romberg.' 

Since it is in our interests that the influence of the radical 
wing of the Russian revolutionaries should prevail, it would 
seem to me advisable to allow transit to the revolutionaries 
there. I would therefore support the granting of permission. 
Would Your Excellency please inform the High Command of 
the Army and ask for their opinion in this matter? 

ZlMMERMANN 



16 

The Liaison Officer at General Headquarters to the Foreign 

Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. 37 I 

AS 1148 25 March 1917, 12.15 a.m. 

Received: 25 March, 1.15 a.m. 
In reply to telegram No. 46 1 . 

High Command of the Army instructs me to telegraph as 

follows: 'No objections to transit of Russian revolutionaries if 

effected in special train with reliable escort. Organization can 

be worked out between representatives of Hlb 1 in Berlin and 

Foreign Ministry.' 

Lersner 

1 The military Passport Office. 



17 

The Under State Secretary to the Minister in Bern 
telegram no. 348 

AS 1 148 Berlin, 26 March 191 7 

Special train will be under military escort. Hand-over at fron- 
tier-station, either Gottmadingen or Lindau, by responsible 
official of the consulate. Send information immediately concern- 



26 MARCH igi 7 27 

ing date of journey and list of names. Information must reach 
here four days before frontier-crossing. General Staff unlikely to 
object to individual personalities. In any case, return transport 
to Switzerland is guaranteed. Bussche 



18 

The Minister in Bern to the Chancellor 

REPORT NO. 879 

A 10630 29 March 191 7 

The Imperial Consul-General in Basle received the following in- 
formation from a reliable source: 'The Russian socialist and 
nihilist committees in Switzerland, in Bern, Zurich, and 
Geneva, have asked the representatives of the German press in 
Switzerland to work in their newspapers against Germany's 
undertaking an offensive against Russia, because this would 
disturb the peace plans of these committees.' 1 Romberg 

1 The German government received a similar request from Ferdinand, King 
of Bulgaria. Ferdinand advised OberndorfF, the German Minister in Sofia, that it 
would be a mistake to exploit Russia's weakness and launch an offensive against 
her. (The Minister in Sofia to the Foreign Ministry, 24 March 1917. AS 1 168 and 
AS 1 169 in WK 2 seer, volume 31. All the documents referred to in this note are in 
the same file.) 

A German offensive, it was argued at the time, would strengthen English in- 
fluence in Russia and would contribute to the political unification of the hitherto 
divided nation. (The Liaison Officer at General Headquarters to the Foreign 
Ministry, 26 March 1917, AS 1 173.) On 27 March the State Secretary replied to 
the telegrams from Sofia that no attack was being planned on the Russian front. 
Cf. Die Aufzeichnungen des Generalmajors Max Hoffmann, Berlin, 1930, volume 2, pp. 
168-72. 

19 

Captain Hiilsen {Political Section of the General Staff in 
Berlin] to the Foreign Ministry 

AS 1234 ■ Berlin, 30 March 191 7 

A confidential agent working for us, who spent a few days in 
Switzerland on our behalf and returned here on 29 March 191 7, 
reports the following: 



28 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

'A large number of the Russians living in Switzerland wish to 
return to Russia. In principle, the Entente agrees with this plan, 
but those members of Russian revolutionary parties who favour 
an immediate peace are to be kept out of Russia by English 
pressure. Three such Russian revolutionaries were refused entry 
into France in the last few days, although they had been issued 
with passports by the Russian consulate in Bern. These Russian 
revolutionaries asked me, in confidence, to suggest to the Ger- 
man government that it should help them to reach Russia in 
spite of all this, and they made the following suggestion : 

"The German government should approve an application 
which the Russians living in Switzerland would arrange to have 
made by the Swiss government, for these Russians (about 300 
to 400) to be transported to Sweden in a special train, travelling 
through Germany because of the shortness of this route. Among 
these 300 to 400 Russians (of all parties) there would also be 
those unacceptable to the Entente. As soon as the German 
government agrees to the proposal, he (the confidential agent) 
should unobtrusively inform the relevant people in Switzerland, 
so that they could begin to take the necessary steps with the 
Swiss government. (See the enclosed newspaper cutting. 1 ) The 
basic conditions demanded for the success of the operation 
seemed to be speed of execution and the arousing of as little 
attention as possible in Switzerland. It would not be advisable 
to make any conditions as to those travelling on the train, such 
as excepting those liable for military service. It was considered 
advantageous to Germany to bring out the members of Lenin's 
party, the Bolsheviks, who were about forty in number. Among 
them were Lenin and Rjasanov in Bern, and Semjonov, 
Grigoriev, Abranov, Dora Dolin, and Marie Gutstein in 
Zurich. The fact that twenty to thirty so-called 'revolutionary 
patriots' and Mensheviks who were in favour of continuing the 
war would travel through at the same time seemed unimportant, 
as they would get back to Russia in any case, with the aid of the 
Entente.'" 

A decision on this proposal is humbly requested here. 2 Our 
confidential agent is available for co-operation. 

Hulsen 

1 An undated cutting from Volksrecht headed 'Party News. Return of political 
refugees to Russia.' The last sentence reads: 'Steps are being taken to organize a 
return to Russia. Address: S. Bagocky, Klusstrasse 30, Zurich.' 

2 Marginal note by Bergen: 'To be passed on to Pourtales. (Hulsen would be 
glad of early information.) ' 



31 MARCH 1917 29 

20 

The Minister in Bern to the Foreign Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. 568 

AS 1242 , 3 1 March 1917, 1.15 a.m. 

Received: 31 March, 5.20 a.m. 

National Counsellor \Nationalrat] Grimm has told Federal 
Counsellor Hoffmann, in the name of the Zurich Committee, 
that Russian emigres, most of whom are in favour of peace, have 
asked to be allowed to return to Russia immediately. Negotia- 
tions with the Swedish government would waste valuable time. 
Travel through the Entente countries was impossible, quite 
apart from the danger from submarines, because the Entente 
would only allow those emigres to travel who were in favour of 
continuing the war. After their return to Russia the emigres 
would work for the release of a number of German prisoners 
from Russia. 

After a discussion with me, Herr Hoffmann advised Grimm 
that representatives of the committee should make direct con- 
tact with me and should also send a telegram to Kerensky. 
Grimm considers the latter move inadvisable, as he does not 
trust Kerensky. 

A representative of the committee will probably approach me 
tomorrow. I intend to inform him according to the terms of 
telegram No. 348 1 and to instruct him immediately to present 
lists of those travelling. Romberg 

1 Document No. 17. 

21 

Memorandum by Ow- Wachendorff 1 

AS 1206 Berlin, 31 March 19 17 

A General Staff discussion on the subject of the transport of 
Russian revolutionaries took place this afternoon. The following 
were present: Capt. (Cavalry) Ziirn, head of the Central Pass- 
port Office, Capt. Burmann (Imperial Intelligence Bureau, 
East), and myself. 



30 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

Burmann emphasized that the Intelligence Bureau East was 
only moderately interested in the undertaking, but that they 
would, in any case, like to be given the list of names as soon as 
possible. 

Zurn explained that the objections of the General Staff were 
mainly based on the fact that it seemed doubtful whether the 
Finnish frontier authorities, which have English officials 
attached to them, would allow those elements who are against 
a continuation of the war to cross. It seems very questionable 
whether we shall achieve our aims. Above all, we should avoid 
compromising those travelling, before they leave, by showing 
too much eagerness to co-operate. There were only political 
objections to the transport of larger numbers. No selection was 
possible. One might, at the most, limit permission to travel to 
those not fit for military service. One would then still have the 
possibility of adding those elements acceptable to us. 

It was thought desirable that an application should have been 
made by the Swiss government. (See letter from the Political 
Section. 2 ) Ziirn was afraid that it could later be used against us 
if we were suddenly to send all these restless elements up to 
Sweden without any request from the Swiss. The Swiss had 
already made an official application in the summer of 191 5 for 
the return to Russia of Russians with no means of support. 

Ow. 

1 Legation Secretary Hans-Hartmann von Ow-Wachendorff. 

2 Document No. 19. 



22 
The Minister in Copenhagen to the Foreign Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. 528 

AS 1273 2 April 19 1 7, 3.13 a.m. 

Received: 2 April, 5.45 a.m. 

Had detailed discussion with Scavenius about the situation in 
Russia. The Minister rates the political significance of the 
Socialist Skobolev's inflammatory speeches lower than the press 
of the Entente countries might lead one to believe. Nevertheless, 
Scavenius does see in them a sign that the English are also in 
contact with the extremist Socialist circles. 



2 APRIL ig I 7 31 

In face of the Russian revolution, we can, in my opinion, 
adopt one of two attitudes: 

Either we are both militarily and economically in a position 
to continue the war effectively until the autumn. In that case it 
is essential that we try now to create the greatest possible degree 
of chaos in Russia. To this end, any patently apparent inter- 
ference in the course of the Russian revolution should be 
avoided. In my opinion, we should, on the other hand, make 
very effort surreptitiously to deepen the differences between the 
moderate and the extremist parties, for it is greatly in our 
interests that the latter should gain the upper hand, since a 
drastic change would then be inevitable and would take forms 
which would necessarily shake the very existence of the Russian 
empire. However, even if the moderate wing should remain in 
power, I could not imagine a transition to normal conditions 
taking place without considerable turmoil. Nevertheless, I think 
that it would be preferable, from our point of view, to back the 
extremist element, as this would be a more thorough way to 
work and would lead more quickly to some conclusion. In all 
probability, we should, in about three months time, be able to 
count on the disintegration having reached the stage where we 
could break the power of the Russians by military action. If we 
were now to launch a premature offensive, we should only give 
all the various centrifugal forces a motive for uniting and even, 
perhaps, lead the army to rally in its fight against Germany. 

If, on the other hand, we are not in a position to continue the 
war until the end of this year with any likelihood of success, then 
we should try to achieve a rapprochement with the moderate 
parties now in power and to convince them that if they insist 
on continuing the war, they will merely be doing the work of the 
English for them, opening the gates to reaction, and thus 
jeopardizing even such freedom as they have won. As an addi- 
tional argument, it should be pointed out to the Miliukovs and 
the Guchkovs that, in view of the uncertainty of the position 
in Russia, the English might attempt to reach an agreement 
with us, at the expense of the Russians. 

Brockdorff-Rantzau 



32 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

23 

The Minister in Copenhagen to the State Secretary 

AS 1311 2 April 1917 

Dear State Secretary, 

I am writing this personal letter to Your Excellency today 
because I regard the acute situation which has recently arisen, 
and particularly the development of affairs in Russia, as so im- 
portant to the ultimate decision regarding the form of our entire 
future policy, that I consider radical decisions to be inevitable 
if we are to assure ourselves success at the eleventh hour. 

Your Excellency knows that I am not a hack, nor an idolater 
of the infamous verbi magistri. I have formed my own in- 
dependent opinions and I believe that, in view of the respectful 
friendship which I feel for you and of the unconditional con- 
fidence which you have always shown in me, I now have a right 
to make myself heard. 

My request is that you be kind enough personally to receive 
Dr. Helphand, who will be arriving in Berlin tomorrow evening 
(Tuesday). I am well aware that his character and reputation 
are not equally highly esteemed by all his contemporaries, and 
that your predecessor [Jagow] was especially fond of whetting 
his sharp tongue on him. In answer to this, I can only assert 
that Helphand has realized some extremely positive political 
achievements, and that, in Russia, he was, quite unobtrusively, 
one of the first to work for the result that is now our aim. Certain 
things, perhaps even everything, would be different now if 
Jagow had not totally ignored his suggestions two years ago ! 

The connexions which Helphand has in Russia could now, 
in my opinion, be decisive to the development of the whole 
situation. Moreover, he is also in such close contact with the 
Social Democrats in Germany, Austria, and Scandinavia that 
he could influence them at any time. 

He is genuinely grateful to Your Excellency, as he knows that 
he has your intercession to thank for his acceptance into the 
German state at a time when his position was more than pre- 
carious, and he now feels himself to be a German, not a Russian, 
in spite of the Russian revolution, which should have brought 
about his rehabilitation. I therefore ask you to give him a 
hearing, since I am convinced that, properly handled, he could 



2 APRIL I917 33 

be extremely useful, not only in the decision of questions of 
international politics, but also in the internal politics of the 
Empire. 

I have no need to emphasize that I am by no means in agree- 
ment with all his interpretations, but I think that we should 
nevertheless make use of powers such as his where we have need 
of them. 

Your Excellency will understand the motives which led me 
to write this letter. 

I have nothing further to add, except that Helphand has never 
once suggested that I should recommend him to Tour Excellency, and that 
I only decided to write this letter a few hours ago, i.e. at 
10 o'clock at night, because I happened to find out that an extra 
courier is travelling to Berlin tomorrow morning. In view of 
this, I must also ask you to forgive the fact that this letter was 
drafted in haste and may bear the outward signs of its hurried 
writing. 

Yours, &c. 

Brogkdorff-Rantzau 



24 
The Under State Secretary to the Minister in Bern 

TELEGRAM NO. 380 

AS 1242 Berlin, 2 April 191 7 

According to information received here, it is desirable that tran- 
sit of Russian revolutionaries through Germany take place as 
soon as possible, as the Entente has already begun to work 
against this move in Switzerland. I therefore recommend all 
possible speed in your discussions with representatives of the 
committee. „ 

BUSSGHE 



B 5706 



34 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

25 
The Minister in Bern to the Foreign Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. 6oi 

as 1288 3 A P r il 1917 

Dispatched: 4 April, 9.45 a.m. 
Received: 4 April, 11.35 a - m - 
In reply to telegram No. 380. 

Although I have made our willingness to co-operate known to 
the emigres through various channels, and although I have re- 
peatedly been warned to expect a visit from a representative, 
nobody has yet contacted me, apparently because the emigres 
are afraid of compromising themselves in Petrograd. Some of 
them definitely want to wait for instructions from the govern- 
ment in Petrograd or from the Soviet; others still seem un- 
certain as to whether or not they wish to avail themselves of our 
offer. I do not think that we can do anything but wait. Perhaps 

German Socialists could also sound the emigres. ^ 

* Romberg 



26 

The Under State Secretary to the Minister in Bern 

DISPATCH NO. 302 

AS :234 Berlin, 4 April 191 7 

I beg to enclose herewith a copy of a letter from the Deputy 
General Staff, dated 30 March on the question of the transit 
through Germany of the Russian revolutionaries in Switzerland, 
for Your Excellency's information. 1 

The Deputy General Staff has been informed by us that 
Your Excellency is authorized to tell the representative of the 
Zurich Committee of the Russian revolutionaries the conditions 
imposed by the army for their journey through Germany. 

Bussche 

1 See document No. 19. 



4 APRIL I917 35 

27 
The Minister in Bern to the Foreign Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. 603 

As '3 01 • 4 April 1917, 5.35 p. m . 

Received: 4 April, 7.20 p.m. 

In continuation of telegram No. 601. 

Platten, the secretary of the Social Democratic party, came to 
see me on behalf of a group of Russian Socialists and, more 
particularly, of their leaders, Lenin and Zinoviev, to voice a 
request that a number of the most important emigres, twenty to 
sixty at the most, be allowed to travel through Germany im- 
mediately. Platten states that matters in Russia are taking a 
turn dangerous to the cause of peace, and that everything 
possible should be done to get the Socialist leaders here to 
Russia as soon as possible, as they have considerable influence 
there. Unfortunately, he said, many of the emigres had no identity 
documents and, except for Lenin and Zinoviev, they were very 
anxious that their names should not be mentioned at all. Apart 
from this, they were prepared to submit to any conditions, such 
as travelling through without any stops and in sealed or even 
shuttered compartments. However, they did insist that none of 
them be left behind, that their carriage be assured extra- 
territorial rights, and that each of them be accepted regardless 
of his position for or against continuation of the war. For their 
part, they promised to make efforts in Russia to secure the re- 
lease of a number of German prisoners. Platten, who wants to 
travel to Stockholm to set up an information service, would join 
up with the emigres and would be prepared personally to 
guarantee each one of those travelling and to provide them with 
an authorization from [one word garbled]. This authorization 
should, if possible, contain no names. Platten could take the 
emigres to the frontier together with a German official, and 
could take them through the frontier post one by one. 

Since their immediate departure would be greatly in our 
interests, I urgently recommend that permission should be 
granted at once, accepting the conditions laid down. Taking 
into account the suspicious nature of the Russians, who would 
not at first believe in the possibility of safe transit, together with 
the ruthless counter-activities of the Entente and the differences 



36 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

of opinion among the emigres themselves, there would otherwise 
be a considerable danger of their allowing their decision to be 
altered again. If we show them unreserved confidence, we shall 
put them into a friendly frame of mind. I would consider it 
especially helpful that we should show our confidence in the 
Swiss Socialists by accepting their guarantee as a sufficient one. 
This would place us high in their estimation and would, I hope, 
enable us to establish a permanent relationship which would 
be extremely useful for maintaining connexions with Russia. 
Platten admits himself that there are two sides to the question 
of the justification and the logic of the conditions laid down by 
the emigres for their journey. He said that they believed that they 
had, in this way, insured themselves against being com- 
promised in Russia, and that, after laboriously reaching agree- 
ment, one should not reopen any discussion. Their departure 
should take place not later than Friday. Finally, Platten regards 
it as quite impracticable to consider the possibility of so-called 
Social Patriots, i.e. opponents of peace, presenting^ themselves 
for the journey. Please telegraph at least provisional instructions 
as to whether or not the Russians should hold themselves in 
readiness for Friday. Romberg 



28 

The Minister in Bern to the Foreign Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. 607 

AS 1302 4Aprill 9 l7 

Dispatched : 5 April, 1 .00 a.m. 
Received: 5 April, 3.20 a.m. 

In continuation of telegram No. 603. 

National Counsellor Grimm has told Federal Counsellor Hoff- 
mann that arrangements would be made for representatives of 
the Petrograd revolutionary committee to meet emigres from 
Switzerland in Stockholm. He added that, in the interests of 
peace, it was also desirable that German Socialists (not, of 
course, followers of Scheidemann, but more moderate elements 
of the workers' community, such as Kautzky) should see 
Mehring 1 in Stockholm, in order to discuss peace. Grimm had 
gone on to remark, with a smile, that there was no risk for the 



4 APRIL igi 7 37 

German government in this, since the Germans were a long way 
from being ripe for a revolution. 

Hoffmann says that, although Platten is a representative of 
the most radical body of opinion, he has heard nothing else un- 
favourable of him. Romberg 

1 Franz Mehring, German revolutionary Marxist, historian of the German 
Social Democracy, editor of Leipziger Volkszeitung and Die neue Z e it- 

29 

The State Secretary to Freihern von Lersner, the Foreign 
Ministry Liaison Officer at General Headquarters 

TELEGRAM NO. 549 

AS 1 148 Berlin, 5 April 191 7 

According to information from Bern, departure of Russian 
emigres in Switzerland is possibly imminent. 

Request discussion with High Command of the Army as to 
whether it might not be advisable to give charge of journey 
through Germany to a tactful officer with political understand- 
ing, whose choice could perhaps be influenced by High Command 
of the Army. 

It seems politically desirable that, while of course strictly 
observing all safety measures considered necessary in military 
quarters, all inconveniences which might unnecessarilly distress 
the emigre's be avoided as far as possible. 

Further details of the organization of the journey will be 
agreed here with the Deputy General Staff. 

ZlMMERMANN 

30 

The Under State Secretary to the Minister in Bern 

TELEGRAM NO. 394 

AS 1 30 1 Berlin, 5 April 191 7 

In answer to telegram No. 603. l 

General Staff agrees. Frontier-crossing at Gottmadingen. 
Understanding officer will take charge of train from Gott- 



30 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

madingen to Sassnitz. Hand-over at Gottmadingen by official 
of Foreign Service to be chosen there. No passport formalities 
of any kind at frontier-crossing. Luggage will be sealed. Safe 
transit guaranteed. German Trade Union leader Janson, a 
Socialist, will probably join train at Gottmadingen. 

For technical reasons maximum number to travel sixty. 

Further details of time of travel follow. Provisionally two 

second-class express carriages will be ready at Gottmadingen on 

Saturday evening. 

Bussche 

1 Document No. 27. 



31 

The Minister in Bern to the Chancellor 

REPORT NO. 970 

AS 1317 5 April 191 7 

I have the honour to present the enclosed draft of the conditions 
for the passage of Russian emigres from Switzerland to Stock- 
holm, given me by Herr Platten. 1 _. 

Romberg. 

Enclosure : 

Basis for discussions concerning the return of emigres to Russia. 

1 . 1, Fritz Platten, will conduct the carriage carrying political 
emigres wishing to travel to Russia, through Germany, bearing 
full responsibility and personal liability at all times. 

2. All communication with German organizations will be 
undertaken exclusively by Platten, without whose permission 
absolutely nobody may enter the carriage, which will be locked 
at all times. 

The carriage will be granted extra-territorial rights. 

3. No control of passports or persons may be carried out either 
on entering or on leaving Germany. 

4. Persons will be allowed to travel in the carriage absolutely 
regardless of their political opinions or their attitude towards 
the question of the desirability of war or peace. 

5. Platten will buy tickets at the normal tariffs for those 
travelling. 

6. As far as possible the journey shall be made without stops 



5 APRIL I 9 I 7 39 

and in a through train. The emigres may not be ordered to leave 
the carriage, nor may they do so on their own initiative. The 
journey may not be interrupted except in case of technical 
necessity. 

7. Permission to make the journey is granted on the basis of 
an exchange of those travelling for Germans and Austrians im- 
prisoned or interned in Russia. 

8. The negotiator and those travelling undertake to exert 
themselves, publicly and especially among the workers, to see 
that this condition is fulfilled. 

9. The time of departure from the Swiss frontier for the 
Swedish frontier, which should be as soon as possible, shall be 
agreed immediately. Bern-Zurich, 4 April 1917 

Fritz Platten 

1 Cf. F. Platten, Die Reise Lenins dutch Deutschland, Berlin, 1924, pp. 29-30. 



32 

The Minister in Bern to the Foreign Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. 619 

AS I322 6 April 1917, 8.00 p.m. 

Received: 6 April, 10.25 P- m - 

In reply to telegram No. 394. 1 

Platten reports about twenty members of Lenin's party ready 

to leave. 

However, it is still possible that important Social Revolution- 
aries (the party of Weiss) 2 may join them. As yet, however, 
agreement with them has not been possible, and it is very doubt- 
ful whether the discussions with them can be finished in time. 
There is therefore an urgent desire that the journey be post- 
poned until Sunday night, as great value should be laid on the 
participation of the Social Revolutionaries because of the im- 
portant role that they played in the outbreak of the revolution. 
The simultaneous appearance of the leaders of both parties in 
Russia would make a deep impression and would considerably 
further active work for peace. I therefore urgently recommend 
that this wish be fulfilled and the journey be postponed until 
Sunday night. 



^ utKMAiNK AINU THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

The emigres ask whether we could not, before their departure, 
make private representations to the Swedish government to 
secure their entry into Sweden. Herr Platten, who is to accom- 
pany the emigres, requests that arrangements be made to ensure 
that he encounters no difficulties on his return journey from 
Stockholm to Switzerland. 

Each of the emigres has about three baskets by way of luggage, 
and they wish to travel third class, as many of them are without 
means and cannot pay the higher fare. Free travel is not to be 
recommended, and any obviously preferential treatment is also 
to be avoided. Furthermore, within German territory the 
emigres must not communicate with any German except through 
Platten. Naturally the press must make no mention of the 
journey. 

Please inform station at Gottmadingen of fare. 

I urgently request instructions by telegram about postpone- 
ment of journey. Answer must reach here not later than 10 
o'clock tomorrow, Saturday. 

Romberg 

1 Document No. 30. 

2 Weiss was the cover name of Zivin. See document No. 13. 



33 

The Under State Secretary to the Minister in Bern 

TELEGRAM NO. 40 I 

AS 131 7 Berlin, 7 April 19 17 

In reply to report No. 970. » 

Platten's conditions accepted except Clause 2, as proposal for 
journey was agreed after request from German Trades Unions, 
on whose behalf Janson will accompany the carriage. 2 

BUSSCHE 

1 See document No. 31. 

2 Marginal note: 'A copy humbly sent for information to Political Section of the 
General Staff, Berlin, for the attention of Capt. Hiilsen.' 



7 april 1 9 1 7 4 1 

34 

The State Secretary to the Minister in Stockholm 

TELEGRAM NO. 480 

AS 1322 Berlin, 7 April 191 7 

A number of Russian revolutionaries in Switzerland (exact 
number not yet decided) is to be given permission to travel 
through Germany in order to return to Russia via Sweden. They 
will be accompanied by the secretary of the Swiss Social Demo- 
cratic party, Platten. Provisionally, they will probably arrive at 
Sassnitz on Wednesday, 1 1 April. 

Please make the necessary arrangements with the Swedish 
government, in confidence. 

Report their attitude by telegram. 7 



35 

The Minister in Bern to the Foreign Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. 63 I 

AS 1349 _ 8Apriligi7 

Dispatched: 9 April, 1.00 a.m. 
Received: 9 April, 4.10 a.m. 
In reply to telegram No. 401. 1 

The emigres expect to encounter extreme difficulties, even legal 
prosecution, from Russian government because of travel 
through enemy territory. It is therefore essential to their interests 
that they be able to guarantee not to have spoken with any Ger- 
man in Germany. Platten will explain this to Janson. It is 
absolutely essential also that the German press ignore the affair 
as long as it is not discussed abroad. If discussion becomes un- 
avoidable, it should not add any commentary and, above all, 
should not pin any hopes on the affair such as might com- 
promise the emigres. On no account should Swiss role of media- 
tion be mentioned. 

Departure is to take place tomorrow according to plan. At 
least twenty-nine, possibly up to thirty-seven, Russian members 



42 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

of various groups of the Lenin wing will travel. It is still un- 
certain whether or not Social Revolutionaries will travel. 

Romberg. 

1 Document No. 33. 

36 

The Minister in Copenhagen to the Foreign Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. 560 

AS 1364 9 April 191 7, 9.50 a.m. 

Received : 9 April, 1 1 .50 a.m. 

Dr. Helphand has requested to be informed immediately of the 
arrival in Malmo or Sassnitz of the Russian refugees travelling 
from Switzerland through Germany. Helphand wishes to meet 
them in Malmo. 

Please telegraph information immediately. 1 

Brogkdorff-Rantzau 

1 Reply: Telegram No. 260, Berlin, 10 April. 'Russian emigres from Switzerland 
will arrive Sassnitz at noon Wednesday. Zimmermann' (WK 2 seer, volume 32). 
In Radek's contribution to Platten's pamphlet Die Reise Lenins durch Deutschland 
(Berlin, 1924), p. 66, Radek wrote: 'In Stockholm Parvus tried to see Lenin in the 
name of the Central Committee of the German Social Democrats; Ilyich not only 
refused to see him, but asked me, Vorovski and Hanecki, together with Swedish 
comrades, to record this attempt.' Radek and Hanecki were the two closest con- 
tacts of Helphand's among the Bolsheviks. 

37 

The Minister in Bern to the Foreign Ministry 

telegram no. 634 

as 1357 9 April 19 17, 2.05 p.m. 

Received: 9 April, 4.05 p.m. 

In continuation of telegram No. 63 1. 1 

I wish to emphasize again that emigres have taken no steps to 

procure permission to travel in Sweden and therefore rely 

absolutely on the action requested by us. „ 

1 ^ ' Romberg 

1 Document No. 35. 



9 APRIL 19 I 7 43 

38 

The Minister in Munich to the Foreign Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. 63 

AS 1363 9 April 1917, 4.30 p.m. 

Received: 9 April, 7.45 p.m. 

May I suggest to Your Excellency that I should sound Adolph 
Miiller 1 to see if he would be prepared to establish contact with 
Russian Socialists in Scandinavia, on the spot. As I am not cer- 
tain that he would accept, I should, for the moment, speak of 
the matter only as if it were an idea of my own. 

Treutler 

1 Miiller was a Social Democrat deputy from Munich and a friend of Helphand. 
Shortly after the war, he became the German Minister in Bern. 

39 

The Under State Secretary to the Minister in Bern 

TELEGRAM NO. 413 

AS 1357 Berlin, 10 April 1917 

In reply to telegram No. 634. l 

Minister in Stockholm has been instructed to approach Swedish 

Government on the subject of journey of Russian emigres 

through Sweden. „ 

Bussghe 

1 Document No. 37. 

40 

The State Secretary to the Minister in Munich 

TELEGRAM NO. 22 

AS 1363 Berlin, 10 April 191 7 

In reply to telegram No. 63. T 

Scheidemann and Ebert have travelled to Scandinavia with my 
approval. The possibility of their meeting Miiller does not seem 



44 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

to me very desirable. In addition, I want to await the reports of 
these two on their impressions. I therefore recommend that you 
do not, for the moment, take any steps. „ 

ZlMMERMANN 
1 Document No. 38. 



41 

The Minister in Stockholm to the Foreign Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. 60O 

AS 1382 10 April 191 7, 4.20 p.m. 

Received: 10 April, 6.57 p.m. 
In reply to telegram No. 480. J 

Government here permits transit through Sweden. 

Lucius 

1 Document No. 34. 

42 

The State Secretary to the Minister in Bern 

TELEGRAM NO. 41 J 

AS 1382 Berlin, 11 April 1917 

In continuation of telegram No. 413. : 

According to report of Imperial Minister in Stockholm, 
Swedish government permits transit of Russian emigres. 

ZlMMERMANN 
1 Document No. 39. 

4 3 

Memorandum by Ow- Wachendorf 

AS 1393 Berlin, 11 April 191 7 

Hcrr von Hiilsen informs me that the Russians' journey has so 
far been extremely harmonious. An officer in civilian clothes 



II APRIL igi 7 45 

visited the carriage here while it was in transit. He stated that 
Platten had said, on behalf of the Russians, that they were very 
gratified with the co-operation shown by the German govern- 
ment. Ample food had been provided, though the Russians had 
only wanted little. In Berlin, milk had been made available for 
the children. 

The Russians' train missed its connexion in Frankfurt, so that 
their carriage was somewhat delayed. The Russians will there- 
fore have to spend the night at Sassnitz. Good accommodation 
has been assured them there, in a locked room. q w 



44 

Memorandum by Ow- Wachendorf 

as 1406 Berlin > I2 A P ril l $ l 7 

Lersner has telephoned as follows : 

1. His Majesty the Kaiser suggested at breakfast today that 
the Russian Socialists travelling through Germany should be 
given White Books and other literature, such as copies of the 
Easter Message and of the Chancellor's speech, so that they may 
be able to enlighten others in their own country. 

2. In the event of the Russians being refused entry into Sweden, 
the High Command of the Army would be prepared to get them 
into Russia through the German lines. 

3. The High Command of the Army would also be prepared 
to get those Russians who are still in Switzerland into Russia 
through our lines. A telegram on this matter follows. Qw 

45 

The Minister in Copenhagen to the Foreign Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. 575 

Ai 2I 6 5 A 13 April 191 7 

Dispatched: 14 April, 11.30 a.m. 
Received: 14 April, 3.4 p.m. 

Thirty-three Russian emigres arrived at Malmo yesterday, were 
welcomed at Trelleborg by the Mayor of Stockholm, and 



46 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

immediately travelled on to Stockholm. They told their comrades 
that there were still a considerable number of Russian emigres in 
Switzerland who had not been able to travel as their passport 
formalities had not been completed. Whether reason for this 
lies on German or Swiss side is not known. It appears urgent 
that this be hurried up. Russian revolutionaries who appeared 
at Malmo to welcome the emigres said that it was absolutely 
essential that as many first-class agitators as possible should be 
available to counteract the efforts of Miliukov and Guchkov to 
continue the war. 

Among the emigres still in Switzerland there are several of the 
best-known agitators. 

The Danish Socialist Borbjerg has been informed in Hapa- 
randa that he is being refused entry into Russia. This refusal 
apparently emanated from the provisional government in Petro- 
grad and as a result of representations from England. Borbjerg 
is going to protest, and will probably try to join up with the 
thirty-three emigres, who have already left Stockholm for Russia 
this evening. 

Brogkdorff-Rantzau 



46 

The Minister in Bern to the Foreign Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. 663 

AS r 456 14 April 1917, n.45 P-m- 

Received: 15 April, 4.46 a.m. 

The Socialist National Counsellor Grimm has asked Federal 
Counsellor Hoffmann for his help in getting permission to travel 
to Stockholm and back. From Stockholm, he might possibly 
travel on to Petrograd. Grimm believes that his presence is 
necessary to counteract Branting's activities against peace, that 
it is essential that the opportunity to conclude a separate peace 
be exploited, and that general peace would then follow. 
Although Hoffmann is a personal opponent of Grimm, of whose 
character he has a poor opinion, Hoffmann is inclined to recom- 
mend that permission be granted. Although it is well known that 
Grimm has bitterly attacked us, he has nevertheless stood 
resolutely in opposition to war; he played a leading part at 






14 APRIL 1917 47 

Zimmerwald and at Kiental, and has close connexions with the 
extreme left in Russia and France and with the Liebknecht 
group. As far as his work for peace is concerned, Hoffmann 
considers him to be absolutely honest, and says that he is work- 
ing to secure for the Proletariat the credit for having restored 
peace to the world. It must be added, however, that the 
Socialists in our government have no use for him. 

Grimm made the same request to me personally today, ex- 
pressing himself extremely intelligently. 

He would like to achieve the following in Petrograd : 

1 . Procure permission, either official or at least from the Com- 
mittee, for the Russian emigres in Switzerland, especially the 
Social Revolutionaries, who would have great influence on the 
peasants, to return to Russia through Germany. Without a 
cover of this kind, they do not dare to make the journey. 

2. Sound out the possibilities of peace, and,_ if possible, give 
us his impressions through the Swiss Legation in Moscow. 

He said that action must be taken quickly, and that, in his 
opinion, moderate members of the German workers' community, 
such as Kautzky, Mehring, and Haase, should be given per- 
mission to have talks with Russians in Stockholm. He further 
believed that an official German counter- announcement should 
be made to the Lvov manifesto, announcing our renunciation of 
annexations and war reparations, in order to strengthen the 
peace party in Russia. I would add here that the Russian 
revolutionaries have warned us against making any announce- 
ment which could give the impression that we are gambling on 
the revolution resulting in Russian military disorganization. 
Thus, they say, the publication of the Kaiser's congratulations 
to Stochod, Field-Marshal Hindenburg's alleged statements 
that the revolution was serving his own ends, and statements in 
the press such as Reventlow's article in the Deutsche Tages- 
zeitung of 12 April have all done incalculable damage. 

Both Hoffmann and President Schulthess appear to be parti- 
cularly nervous as a result of the American declaration of war, 
and they seem worried that the opportunity of making peace 
with the Russians might not be exploited. They suggest that vre 
might perhaps renounce annexations in the East and satisfy 
ourselves with the creation of frontier states with guaranteed 
autonomy. In these circumstances, I feel that I should recom- 
mend that Grimm both be given permission to make and 
actually make his journey, even if our Socialists should express 
opposition. Since Grimm successfully organized the journey of 



48 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

Lenin and his comrades, which was of great value to us, and 

since he has also lately been maintaining the attitude we would 

have him maintain in the Tagwacht and the Swiss National 

Council, it would be hard to understand if we were to try to 

prevent him from making this journey. As he is very ambitious, 

he would take it as a grave insult and would be in a position to 

do us a great deal of damage through his connexions with the 

revolutionary camp in every country. He asks for an assurance 

that he will be allowed to travel both ways unobstructed, taking 

a number of proclamations and other publications with him. 

I feel that we should allow him to enjoy the same treatment as 

the emigres from Brussels. He can do no damage on the military 

side, and he may be decidedly useful politically. What is certain 

is that the Russian revolutionaries will listen to Grimm, a Swiss 

whom, as one of the men of Zimmerwald, they like and trust, 

rather than to German Socialists, especially those of Scheide- 

mann's group. 

I request a decision as soon as possible. _. 

Romberg 



47 
The State Secretary to the Minister in Bern 

TELEGRAM NO. 428 

AS 1456 Berlin, 15 April 191 7 

In answer to telegram No. 663. 

There is no objection to Grimm's passing through Germany 
on his journey in either direction. He should be requested to 
cross German frontier at Weil-Leopoldshohe and to travel via 
Sassnitz or Warnemiinde. Return journey by same route. The 
literature Grimm brings will not be touched. Please give Grimm 
letter of recommendation for frontier authorities. Request that 
you inform me by telegram of date of his entry into Germany. 

ZlMMERMANN 



1 6 april 1 9 1 7 49 

48 

The State Secretary to the Minister in Bern 

TELEGRAM NO. 429 

AS 1456 Berlin, 16 April 191 7 

In continuation of telegram No. 428. 

Scheidemann and Ebert have given most earnest warnings 
about Grimm, who, they say, is definitely pro-Entente. If, 
therefore, Your Excellency has not yet carried out the com- 
mission concerned with Grimm's journey through Germany, 
please do not do so. „ 

ZlMMERMANN 

49 

The Minister in Bern to the Foreign Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. 672 

AS i494 v 16 April 1 91 7 

Dispatched: 17 April, 12.30 a.m. 
Received: 17 April, 7.15 a.m. 

In reply to telegram No. 429. 

Commission had already been carried out. Both Federal Coun- 
sellor Hoffmann and I remain of the opinion that decision was 
correct, especially as Prince Lvov has told Swiss Minister that 
the departure of the emigres from Switzerland was a considerable 
embarrassment to him. It was due to Grimm that this departure 
was possible. Grimm is certainly a severe opponent of the Ger- 
man government, as is well known, but he is no more pro- 
Entente than, say, Haase or Ledebour. The Zimmerwald and 
Kiental conferences, over which Grimm presided, aroused more 
fear and opposition in France and England than anywhere else. 
Grimm has made representations to Hoffmann expressly favour- 
ing a separate peace with Russia. He told me today that the 
Entente was spreading the rumour that we wanted a separate 
peace with Russia so that we could throw ourselves upon France, 
and that he was trying to counter this story. In the National 
Council, Grimm tabled a motion, in opposition to the French 



50 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

Swiss, proposing that, if Switzerland protested against German 
violations of Human Rights, she must make a similar protest to 
the Entente. After all this, Grimm can hardly follow any poli- 
tical line in Russia other than that which is in all probability 
being followed by Lenin, i.e. continuing efforts on the part of 
the revolutionaries, against the present government as against 
the last, to force peace. 

It appears to me that Scheidemann and Ebert, with whom 
Grimm is on hostile terms, fear his interference from personal 
and party reasons. In my opinion, it is now our business to stir 
up Russian [one word garbled] with all available means, and, to 
do so, we should not reject the co-operation even of a man like 
Grimm, whatever his motives or views may be. 

Since he is now going to make his journey in any case and has 

asked me what he could take to Russia, I request authority to 

tell him that [one word garbled] rest on the basis of today's Austro- 

German peace manifesto. 1 ,-, 

Romberg 

1 The State Secretary to the Minister in Bern. Telegram No. 432, Berlin, 17 
April 1 91 7. 'Answer to the last sentence of telegram No. 672. 1 agree. Zimmermann' 
(WK 2 seer, volume 33). 



50 

The Minister in Copenhagen to the Foreign Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. 595 

A 12381 17 April 1917, 1.35 a.m. 

Received: 17 April, 8.00 a.m. 

In reply to telegram No. 250. : 

For the Secretary of State. 

Dr. Helphand has returned from Stockholm today, where he 
was negotiating with the Russian emigres from Switzerland. He 
was summoned by telegram to Berlin by the executive com- 
mittee of the Social Democrat Party. He will arrive tomorrow 
for a few days and will live in Keithstrasse 14, where he will 

await Your Excellency's invitation. 2 „ „ 

Brockdorff-Rantzau 

1 The Secretary of State to the Minister in Copenhagen, telegram No. 250. 
Berlin, 6 April 1917. 'Thank you for your letter [Document No. 23]. Unfortunately 
Helphand had left before I could see him. Zimmermann' (WK 2 seer, volume 32) . 

2 Marginal note : 'Dr. Helphand received a letter of invitation.' 



21 APRIL 1917 5 1 

51 



The Foreign Ministry Liaison Officer at the Imperial 
Court to the Foreign Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. 55I 

A 12976 General Headquarters, 21 April 1917, 5.35 p.m. 

Received: 21 April, 6.35 p.m. 

High Command of the Army has following message for Political 
Section of General Staff in Berlin: 

'Steinwachs sent following telegram from Stockholm on 
17 April 1917: 

' "Lenin's entry into Russia successful. He is working exactly 
as we would wish. Hence cries of fury of Entente Social Demo- 
crats in Stockholm. Platten was turned back by the English at 
frontier, a fact which has aroused considerable attention here." 

'Platten is distinguished Swiss Socialist leader who accom- 
panied Russian revolutionaries from Switzerland through Ger- 
many to Stockholm, and who wanted to travel on to Petrograd.' 

Grunau 



52 
The Minister in Bern to the Foreign Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. 742 

A 13733 2 7 A P ril ^^ I2 -45 P- m - 

Received: 27 April, 1.47 p.m. 

The secretariat of the organizing committee of the Russian 
revolutionary emigres in Zurich has asked me, through the inter- 
mediary of a reliable Swiss Social Democrat, to get permission 
for its five members, Martov, Martin [one syllable garbled], Axel- 
rod, Semkovski, and Astrov, together with their associates, to 
travel through Germany to Sweden immediately, under the 
same conditions as Lenin's group. Having failed in its efforts to 
get a guarantee of travel through the Entente countries from the 
provisional government, the committee has decided to throw 
aside all its worries and considerations on the score of being 



52 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

compromised. They are unconditionally in favour of immediate 
peace and, next to Lenin, are the most important revolutionaries 
here. The number of those to travel is not yet certain. I would 
tentatively suggest that Munzenberg, who was the subject of 
my telegram No. 722, * should accompany them, but that we 
should also arrange for a German military escort, as we did in 
the first case. A speedy decision of the principle is imperative, 
to prevent any contrary influences from making themselves felt. 
Date of journey would still have to be arranged with those 
taking part. The English are supposed to be detaining a ship 
carrying Russian emigres back from America, and this story 
favourably influenced the decision of the committee here. 

Romberg 

1 Telegram No. 732 in WK 2 seer, volume 34. The Minister in Bern to the 
Foreign Ministry, 24 April 191 7. 'The Secretary of the International Union of 
Socialist Youth Organizations, Munzenberg, begs to be allowed to travel to 
Stockholm to a meeting of the Union, which is to take place shortly. A reliable 
confidential agent recommends approval, as Munzenberg is in favour of peace. 
Please telegraph instructions whether visa is to be granted. Romberg.' 



53 

The Minister in Bern to the Chancellor 

REPORT NO. 12 73 

A 14332 30 April 191 7 

Platten, who had accompanied the Russian revolutionary Lenin 
and his followers on their journey through Germany, visited 
me today to thank me on their behalf for services rendered. 
Unfortunately Platten was prevented from accompanying his 
fellow travellers to Russia. He was stopped at the frontier by an 
English officer, who cancelled his entry permit. 

Lenin, on the other hand, received a splendid welcome from 
his followers. It can be said that three-quarters of Petrograd 
workers are behind him. The propaganda among the soldiers is 
more difficult ; the opinion seems to be widespread among them 
that we are going to attack them. It is not clear yet which 
course the revolution will take. Perhaps it will be enough to 
substitute several members of the Provisional Government, like 
Miliukov and Guchkov, by socialists. In any case it would be 
absolutely necessary to increase the number of the partisans of 
peace by an influx from abroad. It is therefore recommended 
that those emigrants who are prepared to leave should receive 



30 APRIL 191 7 53 

the same facilities as Lenin and his comrades. The greatest speed 
is recommended, as it is to be feared that the Entente will exercise 
pressure on the Swiss government to prevent their departure. 
Platten said there were a number of Russian revolutionaries 
in Germany whose dispatch to Russia he recommended. From 
Platten's remarks it became clear that the emigrants lack the 
means for the conduct of their propaganda, while the means of 
their enemies are unlimited. The funds collected for them 
went mainly to the Social Patriots. I shall have an agent in- 
vestigate the delicate question of whether it may be possible to 
let them have such means without offending them. In the mean- 
time I would be grateful for telegraphic information about 
whether the revolutionaries are being supported in any other 

'* Romberg 

1 Marginal note by Pourtales: 'I have spoken to Romberg. With that, the last 
sentence of his dispatch was settled.' 

54 
The State Secretary to the Minister in Stockholm 

\ TELEGRAM NO. 622 

A 14209 Berlin, 1 May 191 7 

According to Telegraph Agency in Petrograd, there has been a 
demonstration of 'The Wounded and Maimed', supposedly 
attended by over 50,000 people, directed against Lenin and his 
followers and demanding that the war be continued. 
Request further details as soon as possible. „ 

n 1 ZlMMERMANN 

55 

The Minister in Stockholm to the Foreign Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. 742 

A 14350 2 May 1 91 7, 2.00 p.m. 

Received: 2 May, 6.56 p.m. 
In reply to telegram No. 622. 

Herr von Heidenstam considers that report is very likely 
true, as both the political line Lenin is pursuing and his peace 



54 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

propaganda are completely independent, and he is thus now 
in a position of violent opposition to the government. According 
to a report received today from the Telegram Bureau, he has 
been summoned before the Workers' Council for this reason. 

There have been large demonstrations in favour of peace, led 
by students, in front of Kazan cathedral, at which violent 
speeches were made against England and the United States, and 
more moderate ones against France. The assassination of 
General Katshalinski is considered significant because he was 
a spokesman of the new government. 

Anarchy is on the increase. Lucius 

56 

The Counsellor of Legation in Bern to Minister Bergen 
as i85 o 9Mayi 9 i 7 

Dear Herr von Bergen, 

Herr von Romberg would be grateful for information as to 
whether your Russian connexions cover not only Lenin and his 
group, but also the leading Social Revolutionaries (Chernov 
and his colleagues) . Should you yourself not be sufficiently in- 
formed on this point, Herr von Romberg would be grateful if 
you could make inquiries at once. 

He is extremely anxious to have this information as soon as 
possible, and asks that you send it by telegram. 1 

Yours, &c, 
Schubert 

1 Bergen's reply: Telegram No. 569; Berlin, 12 May. 'In reply to Schubert's 
private letter: I have no connexions with them. Bergen. Bussche' (WK 2 seer, 
volume 36). 

57 

Memorandum by the Military Attache of the Legation in 

Bern 

9 May 191 7 

The following report from Herr Baier on the subject of support 
for the peace movement in Russia, dated 4 May, has arrived 
from Chiasso: 

I had the opportunity, in Zurich, of talking with various 



9 MAY 191 7 55 

different groups of the Russian emigres. What I heard and saw 
there confirmed the reports which I made recently after my dis- 
cussions with Dr. Shklovsky 1 and P. Axelrod, and added yet 
more information. 

When I carefully sounded several leading representatives of 
different groups within the pacifist Socialist party, these men 
said that it was extremely desirable that systematic, intensive, 
and effective agitation for peace should be supported by some 
well-known, neutral comrades. After they had shown clear and, 
I might almost say, joyful willingness to accept financial support 
for the specific purpose of work for peace, I said that I, for my 
part, would be happy to grant considerable sums for such a 
noble, humanitarian, and internationalist aim. Moreover, the 
Russian revolution had made such a magnificent moral im- 
pression and had aroused such generous impulses that other 
persons of my acquaintance would be only too pleased to sacri- 
fice large sums to support the Russian revolution by helping to 
achieve an immediate peace. These offers were all accepted with 
great pleasure. The common complaint was that the parties and 
groups opposed to the war had smaller financial means at their 
disposal than those supporting the war, who had the resources of 
the state in their control. The English gold played an important 
role, and the Entente was spending enormous sums on the sup- 
port of the war-effort and on bribing influential people. It would 
therefore be all the more pleasing if large sums could be put at 
the disposal of those in favour of peace by wealthy comrades and 
friends. As far as peace is concerned, nearly all those with whom 
I spoke were less interested in a general peace concluded 
simultaneously with, and with the agreement of the other 
Entente powers, than in immediate peace a tout prix, that is, a 
separate peace with Germany and Austria. After this, the ques- 
tion of ways and means by which this support for peace propa- 
ganda should be got into Russia and put to its intended use 
produced a variety of detailed opinions which, for the sake of 
brevity, I shall summarize in a few sentences : 

1. The personality of the donor would guarantee that the 
money came from an unobjectionable source. 

2. The donor or the bearer of the money should be enabled, 
by official or semi-official recommendations, to cross the 
Russian frontier with it. 

3. For the money to be immediately useful, ready cash would 
have to be available, not some kind of letters of credit which 
would be difficult to exchange and would attract attention. 



5° GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

Swiss currency could most easily, most efficaciously, and least 
obtrusively be turned into some liquid and useful form. 

The question of distribution to the various parties, groups, 
and individuals who were to be granted shares of any subsidy 
for their agitation for peace, was already under discussion. 

They all showed that there is willingness to accept support 
for the purpose in question and that, on the one hand, coming 
from me, the offer silenced all their doubts and objections, while 
it was clear, on the other hand, that my personal connexions 
with official personalities in government circles here were con- 
sidered extremely advantageous to the practical execution of 
the project. 

Nasse 

1 Grigorii Lvovich Shklovsky, a Bolshevik, in 1915 took part in the Bern Con- 
ference of the Bolshevik Organizations abroad, and was elected to this organiza- 
tion s committee ; returned to Russia in time for the November revolution. In 1 9 1 8 
he returned to Switzerland with the Soviet diplomatic mission. 



58 

The State Secretary to the Minister in Stockholm 
dispatch no. 227 

A !5°8o Berlin, 9 May 191 7 

Dr. Helphand, who was well known in the Russian revolution 
of 1905 under the pseudonym 'Parvus', has done us a number 
of notable services in the course of the war, especially, working 
under the Imperial Minister in Copenhagen, in influencing the 
Danish trades unions in a direction extremely favourable to us. 
Since then, Dr. Helphand has been granted Prussian citizen- 
ship. He is travelling via Copenhagen to Stockholm, where he 
expects to arrive within the next few days, with the object of 
working for our interests at the impending Socialist congress. 
He will also try to establish contact with the Swedish trades 
unions. 

I would ask Your Excellency to be friendly and helpful to- 
wards Dr. Helphand, who will call at the Legation, and to give 
him all possible assistance. 

Zimmermann 



10 MAY igi 7 57 

59 

The Under State Secretary to the Minister in Stockholm and 
to the Minister in Bern 

AS 1811 Berlin, 10 May 1917 

1. TELEGRAM NO. 666 

Please let loose, through your agent, agitation for publication of 
military and political agreements made with France and Eng- 
land by old regime in Russia before the war. „ 

Stumm 

2. telegram no. 56 i 

Please draw the attention of the emigres returning to Russia, 

through suitable agents, to the idea that they should demand 

from their government the publication of agreements made by 

the old Russian regime with England and France. „ 

Stumm 

60 

The Minister at The Hague to the Chancellor 

REPORT NO. 2026 

A 16533 J 8 May 191 7 

Among the numerous Russians who are at present living in 
Holland — there are about 2,600 civilian refugees and 300 
soldiers from German prisoner-of-war camps in Rotterdam 
alone — there is considerable dissatisfaction with the Russian 
authorities here, and a certain section of these people is in 
sympathy with the Russian revolution. 

The opportunity has just arisen to make contact with a 
representative of this last section, and, on this occasion, as had 
seemed likely, it appeared that the present situation could 
probably be very profitably exploited for the advancement of 
our political aims. 

The personality in question is a certain Vladimir Futran. 
This man would appear to have escaped from a prisoner-of-war 



58 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

camp at Doberitz. He is a revolutionary of Lenin's group, and, 
although he has had no very complete education, is an intelli- 
gent man. 

Whether or not, or to what extent his revolutionary opinions 
are genuine, what motives underlie his action, and how far he 
is governed by self-seeking and material aims, it is of course 
impossible to say so soon. On the whole, he gives the impression 
of being a political fanatic with a desire to avenge some in- 
justice suffered by himself or his class. 

In the course of the first discussion, which took place ab- 
solutely privately and on uncommitted territory between him 
and Dr. Wichert, Futran developed some very useful ideas which, 
after taking our contribution into account, add up to something 
like the following plan : 

i . Futran, together with some comrades sharing his opinions, 
is founding a 'Russian Peace League in Holland'. This league 
is openly to make propaganda in favour of the immediate be- 
ginning of peace negotiations by the Russians. It will therefore 
also have to work against English politics directed at continuing 
the war, against English imperialism, and against the English 
activities in Russia. This would have to be done in the Dutch 
press, and also elsewhere with leaflets and other literature 
printed both in Dutch and in Russian. 

2. Those of the revolutionary agitators among the Russians 
here who are not needed for the action planned for this country 
— about ten so far — should, after all necessary safety measures 
had been taken, be allowed to travel to Stockholm for the con- 
ference, from where they could perhaps go on to Russia. These 
men would have to maintain contact with the 'Peace League' 
in Holland and provide it with material for its activities. 

3. The 'Russian Peace League' could be made to serve as a 
starting-point for agitation among the Russian prisoners of war 
in Germany and Austria. Agitation of this nature could be so 
directed as to help those elements in Russia which appear useful 
to us at the moment, for example Lenin's group. On the other 
hand, it could equally well be undertaken less specifically, 
simply with a view to the role which will be played by the two 
million returning Russian prisoners of war. The method of sow- 
ing the seeds of agitation in the camps, of spreading them, and 
of watching over them would have to be carefully considered. 
For the moment, it does not appear necessary to make any 
definite detailed decision. 

Meanwhile, Futran has delivered the first evidence of his 






10 MAY igi 7 59 

abilities as a journalist and propagandist. The article from the 
Nieuwe Rotter damsche Courant [14 May 191 7], which I humbly 
enclose, ending in a violent attack on England and at once re- 
printed in The Hague newspaper Het Vaderland [15 May], is the 
immediate product of the relationship set up between the author 
and ourselves. 

Herr Futran is now being encouraged further, while at the 
same time being kept sufficiently dependent to allow us to em- 
bark, entirely as we please, on those aspects of the projected 
plan which are mentioned above. 

If he is successful in winning himself a corner in the Dutch 
press on the strength of the very promising beginning marked in 
the enclosure, and in bringing his 'Peace League' into a position 
of esteem, then the matter would certainly be worth active sup- 
port. However, the details given above probably open the way 
to much more effective undertakings. 

In view of this situation, I humbly recommend that Your 
Excellency give me authority to seize the opportunity offered 
here, and that you be kind enough to grant the necessary funds 
for the agitation begun by Herr W. Futran among his com- 
patriots in Holland (which should, if possible, be continued on 
the largest of scales), and also for his work in the Dutch press. 
It is- hardly likely that more than 600 guilders will be needed 
for the first month, which should be regarded as a probationary 
period, but the movement may soon take on an unexpectedly 
large form. For this reason, I would be grateful to have a larger 
sum, say 3,000 to 4,000 guilders, at my disposal from the 
start. 1 

I shall have the honour to report to Your Excellency, at suit- 
able intervals, about the further development of the whole 
affair, and about the forms it assumes after the probationary 
month. RosEN 

1 This request was granted by telegram No. 299 from the State Secretary to The 
Hague on 25 May 1 9 1 7 : 'In reply to report A 2026. You may put 3,000 guilders at 
Futran's disposal. Zimmermann' (WK 2 seer, volume 38). 



60 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

61 

The State Secretary to the Foreign Ministry Liaison Officer 
at the Imperial Court 

TELEGRAM NO. IOIO 

AS 21 17 Berlin, 29 May 1917 

The Minister in Sofia telegraphed as follows on 28 May under 

No. 257. 

'On the occasion of my last visit, M. Radoslavov 1 expressed 
concern as to Kerenski's effectiveness, and said that, if matters 
continued to develop in this way, we should have to consider 
whether to go on being mere spectators or whether rather to 
launch into an offensive. 

'Radoslavov spoke in the same vein to my Austro-Hungarian 
colleague, who told me that he agreed with M. Radoslavov's 
opinion and said that — given, of course, that the necessary forces 
are available — we should set the Russians a time-limit, after 
which we should cease to regard our peace guarantees as 
binding. 

'When I questioned him, Dobrovich, the head of the Privy 
Council, who can presumably be taken to speak for His 
Majesty the King, recommended the adoption of an energetic 
line, saying that the Russians had now been left in peace for long 
enough and were apparently not to be tempted by the offer of a 
separate peace. 

'King Ferdinand and M. Radoslavov will probably raise this 
question on the occasion of their impending visit.' 

I am still of the opinion that there must be no offensive, as an 
offensive would weld all the divergent elements in Russia to- 
gether in their fight against us. On the other hand, it seems to 
me worth considering whether we should not for the moment 
break off discussions between the front-line trenches, telling the 
Russians that the reason for this is that we can no longer expect 
any success from these discussions, now that the provisional 
government, under the influence of the French and the English, 
has decided to continue the war. The Russians would have to 
be told this in such a way that they could not possibly conclude 
that we were intending to open an offensive. „ 

ZlMMERMANN 
1 The Bulgarian Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs. 



3 J UNE i9 J 7 6l 

62 

The State Secretary to the Minister in Bern 

TELEGRAM NO. 658 

AS 2198 Berlin, 3 June 191 7 

In answer to telegram No. 967. l 

Secret reports show that the governments of the Entente coun- 
tries continue to show great anxiety about Russia. The spread 
of the idea of peace has not been stopped even by the latest — 
and only temporary — consolidation of the provisional govern- 
ment. The despairing advances of the Russian troops cannot 
dissimulate the growing disorganization and unwillingness to 
fight of the Russian army. Lenin's peace propaganda is growing 
steadily stronger, and his newspaper Pravda already prints 
300,000 copies. Work in the armament factories is either at a 
standstill, or has sunk to very low production figures. The trans- 
port crisis continues to grow more acute and, as a result, the 
supply of food to the towns and the army is suffering. There is 
therefore absolutely no possibility of the Entente receiving help 
from that quarter. „ 

ZlMMERMANN 

1 Telegram No. 967 of 1 June 191 7. An Italian agent of the mission in Bern 
wanted to know whether the reliance on Russia of the Entente countries was 
justified (AS 2198 in WK 2 seer, volume 39). 

63 

The Minister in Stockholm to the State Secretary 

AS 2433 1 5 June 1917 

Dear State Secretary, 

Scheidemann 1 was yesterday received by the Minister, who, 
for his part, also wished to make his acquaintanceship. I saw 
Herr Lindman immediately afterwards, and he expressed his 
great respect for this 'wise and intelligent man'. Lindman is of 
the opinion that the most important thing is that the discussions 
should go on; whether in Petrograd or here, or with Scheide- 
mann's group or the minority, he says, is only of secondary im- 
portance. I am now of the opinion, shared by Janson, Baake, 



62 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

and others, that it is essential to try to bring our Socialists into 
direct contact with the Russian representatives. It does not even 
really matter if, as is only natural, the Russians would rather 
talk with Kautzky, &c. Since, as was to be expected, Branting 
has behaved with such hostility at the discussions, it would be 
advisable to exclude him entirely from future discussions en- 
gaged in by the minority party. It will not be difficult to make 
the Russian Socialists, and our own, understand that Branting 
is not really a Socialist at all but a bourgeois in disguise, and 
that he has a lot of money, likes to drink champagne, and leads 
a dissipated life. The Russians and the Germans here can con- 
vince themselves of this any day. 

Gratifying news is that a representative of the Russian Workers' 
and Soldiers' Council has already arrived. He is called Wein- 
berg. Our Socialists have therefore postponed their departure. 
Presumably a small delegation will stay here in any case. When 
the English and the French now see that we are really negotiat- 
ing with the Russians, and doing so directly, without the help 
of neutrals, they will, in my opinion, grow extremely uneasy and 
will do everything they can still to take part in the conference, 
in spite of everything. I refuse to believe that the French govern- 
ment will succeed, in the long run, in preventing its Socialists 
from taking part in the discussions, here or in Petrograd, by 
refusing them passports. The strikes in France are already 
thoroughly revolutionary in character, and the property- 
owning classes are now growing really anxious. Wallenberg, with 
whom I always maintain contact because of his excellent con- 
nexions with high banking circles in London and Paris, always 
says that the Frenchman would rather be shot than parted from 
his money. In Lindman's opinion, the most unfavourable factor 
is the situation in England. Lloyd George simply does not care 
about the fact that a continuation of the war might also bring 
about the revolution and sweep away the monarchy. In fact 
Lindman even believes that this is Lloyd George's aim, not only 
in England, but in all the other monarchies as well. 

Your Excellency will receive detailed information about 
events here from Janson. Even though the preliminary negotia- 
tions have not achieved much, I nevertheless believe that the 
stone will now go on rolling and that we shall make direct con- 
tact with the Russians, without Branting's being able to disturb 
our people here. It is very fortunate that Troelstra is now also 
going to Petrograd. The representative of the Petrograd Tele- 
graph Agency, Studiakov, whom I knew well in Petrograd as 



15 June 191 7 63 

correspondent for the Vossische geitung, has recently been trying 
to contact me. For the moment, however, I have deliberately 
not seen him. 

Yesterday there were fairly definite reports of the growth of 
the revolutionary movement in Italy circulating here. How- 
ever, I have not yet been able to ascertain whether there is any 
truth in them. In Wallenberg's opinion, it is only a matter of 
time before the revolution breaks out there. 

The Social Democratic deputy Lindblad, who had breakfast 

with me yesterday, will have the honour of speaking to Your 

Excellency about the coal question which Janson also discussed 

in his personal letter. I regard an arrangement of this kind as so 

important, from a political point of view, that, in our discussion 

with Janson yesterday, I firmly rejected the objections raised by 

Dr. Warburg, who only considers matters from the commercial 

angle. This business must go through, quite regardless of 

whether or not it suits Herr Boetzow and whatever the other 

people are called. , r 

r Yours, &c, 

Lucius 

N.B. Huysmanns has received a telegram from Petrograd, say- 
ing that representatives of the Workers' and Soldiers' Council 
will be arriving here at the end of the month as no agreement 
could be reached otherwise because of the poor communications. 

1 Scheidemann recorded his experiences at the Stockholm conference in his 
Memoirs of a Social Democrat, London, 1929, volume 2, chapter i, pp. 337-53. 



64 

Foreign Ministry to the Liaison Officer at 
General Headquarters 

TELEGRAM NO. 358 

A 20706 Berlin, 6 July 1 91 7 

In answer to telegram No. 947 of 17 June. 1 

Before their departure, Romanov and Tatarinov, who con- 
ducted the last convoy of Russian emigres from Brussels, pre- 
sented a list of eighteen more Russian Socialists who also wish to 
return home via Stockholm, but who could not travel with the 



64 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

first convoy for personal reasons. According to Romanov and 
Tatarinov, the majority of these people are also followers of 
Lenin. 

An examination as to whether there are objections to the 
journey in individual cases will be made by the Political 
Department in Brussels. 

Since it would seem desirable to return as many followers of 
Lenin as possible, we support the application. I therefore 
humbly request Your Excellency to procure the agreement of 
the High Command of the Army and to arrange for the neces- 
sary instructions to be given to the Central Passport Offices in 
Berlin and Brussels. Langwerth-Simmern 

1 General Headquarters, 1 7 June : 'The Supreme Command communicates that 
Brussels has reported that the transport of Russian Socialists will arrive at Sassnitz 
on 17 June at noon. Courier for the transport: Lt. Rossbach. Lersner' (A 19724 in 
WK 2 seer, volume 41). 



65 

The Counsellor of Legation in Stockholm to the Chancellor 

REPORT NO. 823 

A 23125 "Juty^ 1 ? 

No. 7 of the Russische Korrespondenz Prawda 1 reports that no 
agreement was reached in the negotiations between the Russian 
Bolsheviks Ganecki, Vorovski, and Radek, and the German 
Social Democrats Haase, Ledebour, and Herzfeld. The Bol- 
sheviks, who reject any suggestion of working with the 'Social 
Patriots', are shocked by the fact that the German left-wing 
Socialists should want to negotiate with the pro-Entente 'Social 
Patriots'. On this point, the newspaper makes the following 
comment : 

'The participation of the German Social Patriots in this 
"Work for Peace" is, of course, very distasteful to them, but, 
in order to have the pleasure of meeting the fathers of the 
Russian offensive, they are prepared — under protest, of course 
— to accept even this misfortune. The Russian Workers would 
like to know what attitude the Spartacus group takes to this 
decision made by the Independents.' 

According to reports from Petrograd in the newspapers here, 
and according to other sources, the influence of Lenin's group 



II JULY I 91 7 65 

has unfortunately lessened. In a decision concerning a vote of 
confidence in the provisional government — a decision more or 
less bringing to an end the deliberations of the Workers' and 
Soldiers' Council — the Bolsheviks, reinforced by the inter- 
nationalist Social Democrats and the Ukrainians, only raised 
126 votes, while the majority was able to dispose of 543 votes. 
The waning of the Bolsheviks' influence must be seen as the 
result, partly of the offensive, and partly of the inordinate de- 
mands made by Lenin's group. These demands, of which the 
most extreme is the expropriation of the big capitalist concerns 
(especially of all banks and all the larger industrial and com- 
mercial undertakings) and the big landowners, aim at the 
detachment of all the various individual peoples from Russia 
and their formation into separate republics. It must be added, 
however, that, on the Ukrainian question, the Bolsheviks have 
somewhat changed their position, and that they now only de- 
mand a strong degree of autonomy for the Ukrainians, not their 
total detachment. Pravda for 28 June writes: 

'The failure of the politics of the provisional government and 
its coalition cabinet grows more apparent from day to day. The 
"Universal Act" published by the Ukrainian Central Council 
and accepted by the All-Ukrainian Soldiers' Congress on 1 1 
June 4 is documentary evidence of this failure. 

"This act says: "The Ukrainian people should have the right 
to dispose of its own life in its own land, without detaching itself 
from Russia and without breaking away from the Russian state. 
Only our Ukrainian assembly has the right to promulgate laws 
guaranteeing order here in the Ukraine; laws concerned with 
the maintenance of order within the whole of the Russian state 
should be passed by the All-Russian Parliament." ' 

These are perfectly explicit words. They say, with all possible 
clarity, that the Ukrainian people does not at present wish to 
separate from Russia. It demands autonomy, but does not in 
any way dispute the necessity for or the sovereignty of the 'All- 
Russian Parliament'. 

A remarkable thing is that the Petrograd Cossacks' Council 
has declared itself against the detachment of the Ukraine. 
Although the majority of Cossacks come from the Ukraine, and 
although they have always attached importance to a certain 
degree of autonomy, they nevertheless feel that they are 
historically an inseparable part of the whole Russian army. 
Moreover, they played such a decisive and, to them, glorious 
role in crushing the liberal and democratic elements in all earlier 



B 6706 



66 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

attempted revolutions, that one could hardly expect thern to 
show genuine sympathy for the parties whose aim is to divide 
up Greater Russia. 

I have the honour humbly to enclose a violent attack against 
the offensive from the Helsinki newspaper Volna, which accom- 
panied the Korrespondez Prawda. Stobbe 

1 Die russische Korrespondenz Prawda, was edited in German by Hanecki in 
Stockholm. 



66 

Memorandum for the State Secretary 

AS 2 8 4 o Berlin, 17 July 191 7 

Dr. Helphand, who has returned from Stockholm, had a favour- 
able impression of his various discussions with the Russian 
revolutionaries. He said that the influence of Lenin, and of the 
other groups working for a general peace, was continuing to 
grow, in spite of all the claims to the contrary made in the press 
of the Entente countries. The offensive had only taken place 
because the Americans and the English had made it a con- 
dition for the supply of money and raw materials, especially of 
cotton. The soldiers had only been won over to making the 
offensive by being told that they could see for themselves that 
the negotiations made since the outbreak of the revolution had 
not succeeded in bringing peace, whereas a successful offensive 
would lead quickly and surely to this result. Disappointment 
had already set in, and would result in a further softening-up 
of the army. This had already reached such a degree, even 
before the offensive, that the army, through the person of 
Brusilov, had said that the collapse of the armed forces could 
only be prevented by an immediate offensive. In addition to 
this, there was the poor harvest. The Russians living in Stock- 
holm had claimed that only 30 per cent, of the area being farmed 
before the war was under cultivation now. Helphand regards 
this as an exaggeration, but thinks that the total could hardly, 
in fact, be more than 50 per cent. 

Helphand also told me, after asking me to treat this in- 
formation with the utmost confidence, that the Russians were 
not going to allow any discussion of the question of war-guilt 
at the congress which is beginning in Stockholm in the middle 



17 July 1 91 7 67 

of August. They did not want to quarrel, but to do useful work 
for the preparation of peace. Similarly, they were not going to 
let themselves be drawn into any consideration of French wishes 
concerning Alsace-Lorraine, and they were hopeful that this 
question, too, might be got round. For the moment, however, 
care must be exercised to prevent the English from getting wind 
of the matter prematurely and thwarting the attendance of the 
French. 

Helphand has been summoned for 6 p.m. today, in accord- 
ance with instructions. 1 

1 Marginal note by Zimmermann: 'He told me the same. 17. 7. 

67 

The Chancellor to the Foreign Ministry Liaison Officer 
at General Headquarters 

TELEGRAM NO. I328 

AS 2936 Berlin, 26 July 191 7 

Withreference to telegram No. 52751 from Operational Depart- 
ment to Lieutenant-Colonel von Haeften, I request that General 
Ludendorff be told the following: Compliance with secret 
Order I a 4000 given to Eastern Command and Army Group 
Mackensen would mean a new offer of peace to Russia, or would 
at least be interpreted as such by Russian press and public 
opinion in Russia. I do not consider present moment suitable 
for such a step. If our counter-offensive is strong enough to make 
those now in power in Russia fear its continuation, then they, 
or in the event of their removal, their successors, will try to make 
contact with us of their own accord. If it is not strong enough, 
then these steps, which, in addition bear the stamp of extreme 
haste, will only have harmful effects. I should therefore be very 
grateful if the intended statement could be temporarily shelved, 
and if General Ludendorff could give me an opportunity to ex- 
press an opinion before he formulates new principles for propa- 
ganda at the front. We must be very careful that the literature 
with which we are aiming to further the process of disintegration 
inside Russia does not achieve the directly opposite result. 1 This 
is especially true of the furtherance of separatist tendencies, 
which are falling into disrepute. For example, the Ukrainians 



68 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

still reject the idea of total secession from Russia. Any open 
intervention on our part in favour of an independent Ukrainian 
state would undoubtedly be exploited by the enemy in order to 
denounce the existing nationalist currents as German creations. 

Michaelis 

1 E. Vandervelde, who spent two weeks touring the Eastern front in June 1917, 
wrote in his Three Aspects of Russian Revolution (London, 1918, p. 134) : 'It seems that 
this propaganda, while admirably organized and splendidly carried on has the 
same fault that we find in all German enterprises of this sort; it over-reaches its 
mark, and provokes finally, by its ponderous insistence, a psychological reaction 
which is the one result that its organizers failed to foresee.' Vandervelde also noticed 
the similarity between German propaganda and the views of the Bolsheviks, the 
Mensheviks, and the Internationalists (p. 133). Bruce Lockhart wrote in The Two 
Revolutions (London, 1957, p. 93) : '. . . most of the Bolshevik propaganda, including 
Lenin's articles, which reached the Russian front was disseminated by the Germans, 
who, either with or without the connivance of Lenin, were able to buy the Bolshevik 
newspapers in Stockholm and reproduce them.' 

68 

The Minister in Copenhagen to the Foreign Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. IO44 

A 26509 10 August 1 91 7 

Dispatched: n August, 12.40 a.m. 
Received: 11 August, 5.45 a.m. 

The Russian newspaper Riech for 20 July announced that two 
Germal General Staff officers called Schidicki and Luebers had 
told a Russian lieutenant, by the name of Jermolenko, that 
Lenin was a German agent. It also said that Jacob Furstenberg 
and Dr. Helphand (Parvus) were German agents acting as 
intermediaries between the Bolsheviks and the Imperial 
government. 

I consider it essential, first of all to discover whether these 
German General Staff officers, Schidicki and Luebers, in fact 
exist, and then, if at all possible, categorically to deny the report 
in Riech. 

Riech also states that, according to a report telegraphed from 
Copenhagen, Haase, the German Social Democratic member of 
the Reichstag, said, in conversation with a Russian journalist, 
that Helphand was an intermediary between the Imperial 
government and the Russian Bolsheviks, and that he had trans- 
ferred money to the latter. 

I request information by telegram. 

Brockdorff-Rantzau 



I 8 AUGUST igi 7 69 

69 

The Under State Secretary to the Minister in Copenhagen 

TELEGRAM NO. 608 

A 26509 Berlin, 1 8 August 191 7 

In answer to telegram No. 1044. 

The suspicion that Lenin is a German agent has been energetic- 
ally countered in Switzerland and Sweden at our instigation. 
Thus the impact of the reports on this subject supposedly made 
by German officers has also been destroyed. 

The statement claimed to have been made by Haase has been 

denied. _ 

Jdussche 

70 

The Legation in Copenhagen to the Foreign Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. IO74 

A27897 22 August 191 7, 9.59 p.m. 

Received: 23 August, 4.00 a.m. 

For Deputy Erzberger and Counsellor Nadolny. 
Wucherpfennig 1 reports: 

Leitis travelling to Petrograd in next few days as courier for 
[Russian] Legation here. He will also take prosecution material 
for Lenin's trial. Bolshevik leader Radek still here. Report on 
his activities will be sent tomorrow. Goldberg's presence urgently 
required. If his departure delayed by passport difficulties, please 
send Parvus's pamphlets, as there is opportunity to dispatch 
them. 

Meanwhile Meier Grossmann (Ruskie Viedomosti) has re- 
turned from Petrograd. He spoke with Savinko (Kerensky's 
'Commissar for the Front') and with the Minister. Report will 
be sent after Goldberg's return. 

Please inform Goldberg of the above. 

Legation 

1 One of Erzberger's agents in Scandinavia. There is no mention of him in 
Erzberger's war memoirs, Erlebnisse im Weltkrieg, Stuttgart and Berlin, 1920. 



70 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

71 

The State Secretary to the Foreign Ministry Liaison Officer 
at General Headquarters 

TELEGRAM NO. l6lO 

as 3640 Berlin, 29 September 19 17 

For the information of the High Command of the Army. 

The military operations on the Eastern front, which were pre- 
pared on a large scale and have been carried out with great suc- 
cess, were seconded by intensive undermining activities inside 
Russia on the part of the Foreign Ministry. Our first interest, in 
these activities, was to further nationalist and separatist en- 
deavours as far as possible and to give strong support to the 
revolutionary elements. We have now been engaged in these 
activities for some time, and in complete agreement with the 
Political Section of the General Staff in Berlin (Capt. von 
Hiilsen). Our work together has shown tangible results. The 
Bolshevik movement could never have attained the scale or the 
influence which it has today without our continual support. 
There is every indication that the movement will continue to 
grow, and the same is true also of the Finnish and Ukrainian 
independence movements. 

According to the most recent reports received here, the situa- 
tion in Russia is that the country, whose economic life has been 
shattered, and which is only just being held together by English 
agents, could be expected to collapse as a result of any further, 
fairly powerful shock. The very knowledgeable specialist in 
Russian affairs at the Swedish Foreign Ministry has said that 
the English influence depends on the rail connexion between 
Petrograd and Haparanda, which is only capable of carrying 
passenger traffic and mail. 

The preparations for the Finnish rising are, as the High Com- 
mand of the Army knows, busily under way and are being sup- 
ported to a considerable extent. However, it is unlikely that they 
can be maintained right through the winter if the Finnish hopes 
in us are disappointed this autumn and the country is made de- 
pendent on Russia by the food shortage which must be expected 
in the spring. On the other hand, in face of the weakness of the 
Russians, we could expect the Finnish rising to break out now 



29 SEPTEMBER I917 71 

and to reach a successful conclusion if we were to preserve 
Finnish confidence in us — a feeling very much in our interests — ■ 
by occupying the Aaland Isles, which dominate the Gulf of 
Bothnia, and by forcing the Russian Army Command to with- 
draw some of the troops stationed in Finnland, by putting pres- 
sure on them at the front. 

The occupation of the Aaland Isles would also be of the ut- 
most political significance with regard to Sweden. Our enemies 
hope to deliver us a decisive blow by interrupting the export of 
Swedish ore, and are therefore making great efforts to alienate 
Sweden from us. The general situation in Sweden favours these 
efforts. The country is suffering acutely from a shortage of a 
number of commodities which the Entente is withholding from 
the Swedes, in retaliation for their strict observance, by contrast 
with the Norwegians and the Danes, of their neutrality. The 
Swedish people are being told that a government under Branting 
would procure all these goods, especially American oil, which 
is essential to the Swedish peasant in the long winter nights; 
and it is being suggested, in addition, that such a government 
could, with English aid, achieve the practical detachment of the 
Aaland Isles from Russia by winning the concession of a 
plebiscite. It has long been a Swedish wish to possess these 
islands, which command the entrance to Stockholm. Even if we 
were able to thwart the plans of the Entente in Sweden, the 
occupation of the Aaland Isles would so strengthen and secure 
our position against any possible reverses, that our enemies in 
the North would then have no further hope whatsoever. 

In these circumstances, I wish to recommend that the ques- 
tion of occupying the Aaland Isles with German armed forces — 
and according to reports received here, this would have to be 
done not later than the first half of November — a question 
which is eminently important to our position in the East and the 
North and to the whole outcome of the war, should be carefully 
examined by the High Command of the Army. 1 Kuhlmann 

1 There are two replies to this telegram in Russland Nr. 63, Nr. 1 seer, volume 6. 
The first one, telegram No. 1455 of 1 October (AS 3715), from Griinau, concerns 
the question of the Aaland Islands only and gives Ludendorff 's view that the 
occupation of the Islands was, for the time being, out of the question. Ludendorff 
maintained that the clearance of mines would take too long and would keep too 
large a part of the navy occupied. In the second telegram, No. 1493 of 6 October 
(AS 3761), Ludendorff acknowledges the undermining activities in Russia of the 
Foreign Ministry and of the Political Section of the Deputy General Staff, expresses 
thanks for the allocation of large amounts of money for it, and stresses the value 
of this work, especially in Finland. He shares the view that the occupation of the 
Aaland Islands would be of great political value to Germany, but could be accom- 
plished only if the German lines of communication could run across Sweden. 



72 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

72 
The Minister in Stockholm to the Foreign Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. 1796 

AS 4178 8 November 1917, 5.5 p.m. 

Received: 8 November, 8.10 p.m. 
For Bergen. 

Please forward 2 millions of the War Loan for agreed purposes. 

Riezler. T 

Lucius 

Editorial note 

One day after the Bolshevik seizure of power in Petrograd Bergen, 
in the Foreign Ministry in Berlin, started testing his connexions with 
the men now in power in Petrograd. He telegraphed to Vienna on 
9 November, asking Helphand to visit him when he passed through 
Berlin (AS 4182 in WK 2 seer, volume 51 ; all subsequent documents 
referred to in this note are either in the series WK 2 seer or WK 
lie seer) . 

On the same day, before Bergen's message reached him, Helphand 
dispatched two telegrams, using the official channels of the Embassy 
in Vienna. In the telegram to Copenhagen he requested an agent of 
his to travel to Stockholm immediately and to let him know when he 
was needed there. In the second telegram, Helphand asked his 
friend Muller, the Social Democrat deputy at the time in Switzerland, 
to meet him in Munich. 

A few hours later, Bergen sent a cryptic telegram to Bern : 'In view 
of the events in Russia Baier's journey to the North is desirable' 
(AS 4180 in WK 2 seer, volume 51). On 11 November Romberg 
replied that Baier could leave, if necessary, the same week, and that 
Nasse, the military attache in Berne, would go to Berlin to discuss 
the matter with Bergen. Bergen gave his final consent for Baier's 
journey on 22 November. (Cf. document No. 91.) 

In the meantime, Helphand was being extremely elusive to his 
official friends. It was at this time that the Foreign Ministry 
and Helphand began to differ on the form the peace negotia- 
tions with the Russians should take. Helphand, like Radek, favoured 
negotiations in Stockholm. It is likely that the successful Bolshevik 
revolution in Russia gave him hope of the possibility of a revolu- 
tion, or at least a landslide in favour of the Social Democrats, in 
Germany. 

Haenisch, a friend and admirer of Helphand, 1 summed up Hel- 
phand's attitude to war in the following manner : the alliance of Prus- 
sian guns and Russian proletariat was the highway to the destruction 



8 NOVEMBER I917 73 

of the Tsarist system. But at the same time, the Prussian semi- 
absolutism, once it was deprived of the protection of the Russian 
absolutism, would also disappear. Though this analysis of Hel- 
phand's views may not have applied before November 1 9 1 7, it seems 
to have done after. 

Helphand's plan for a Socialist conference in Stockholm was aimed 
at by-passing the Imperial German government. This, he may have 
thought, would weaken it and lead to its final overthrow. On the 
Russian side, this plan was supported by Radek, Hanecki, and 
Vorovski. (Gf. documents Nos. 100 and 108-11.) These were the 
men who made a direct attempt at overthrowing the Imperial 
government, instead of assuming that a revolution in Germany would 
take place in any case. 

This period of Helphand's stay in Stockholm, from the middle of 
November till the end of December 191 7, and the policy he was pur- 
suing there meant the end of Helphand's co-operation with the 
Foreign Ministry. Though he maintained some contacts with 
Wilhelmstrasse afterwards, the former degree of their mutual trust 
was never completely restored. The German government had its 
way in December 191 7; peace between Russia and Germany was 
negotiated and concluded by the official German government at 
Brest-Litovsk, the headquarters of the Eastern Command. Helphand 
had to wait for the defeat of his adopted country and the collapse of 
the Imperial regime until November 1918. 

: K. Haenisch, Parvus, Berlin, 1925, p. 31. 



73 

The Imperial Minister in Stockholm to the Foreign 
Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. I 794 

A 3724: 8 November 191 7, 5.45 p.m. 

Received: 8 November, 9.45 p.m. 

I urgently recommend that all public announcements of 
amicable agreement with Russia be avoided in the German and 
Austrian press. Amicable agreement with imperial states cannot 
possibly be accepted as a watchword by the Bolsheviks. They 
can only justify peace with Germany by citing the will of the 
people and Russia's desperate position. Moreover, I am assured 



74 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

from all sides that, in view of their present position, the Russians 
would only be able to explain friendly words from Germany 
[two words garbled] the weakness of our position in face of the 
English. It would be advisable for the press to exercise modera- 
tion, especially as the extent of the Bolsheviks' victory is not yet 
certain, since they control the Telegraph Agency. T 



74 

The State Secretary to the Foreign Ministry Liaison Officer 
at General Headquarters 

TELEGRAM NO. I 748 

A 37241 Berlin, 9 November 1917 

The view that the utmost moderation should be exercised is 
shared here. 1 The press has been instructed accordingly. In view 
of the reports received, it would also be inadvisable for us to 
make any offers of peace at the front. In the event of offers of a 
general kind being made by the enemy, these should merely be 
accepted and no more. 

According to further reports from Stockholm, the Bolsheviks 
there have said that the new government could only remain in 
power if it achieved a cease-fire in the immediate future. Should 
an offer to this effect be made at the front, I would ask that I be 
informed ; the High Command of the Army would, of course, 
immediately be informed of any offer made through other chan- 
nels. I suggest that any negotiations for a cease-fire by the army 
should be made with the co-operation of a representative of the 
Foreign Ministry, and, similarly, that any preliminary dis- 
cussions or negotiations for peace by the Foreign Ministry be 
made only with the co-operation of military representatives. 
Please state whether this proposal is agreed. „ .. 

r r KUHLMANN 

1 i.e. as far as pronouncements concerning a friendly understanding with Russia 
was concerned. 



9 NOVEMBER I 9 I 7 75 

75 

The State Secretary of the Foreign Ministry to the State 
Secretary of the Treasury 

AS 4181 Berlin, g November 1917 

On the basis of the discussions between Minister von Bergen and 
Ministerial Director Schroder, I have the honour to request 
Your Excellency to put the sum of 1 5 million marks at the dis- 
posal of the Foreign Ministry, for use on political propaganda in 
Russia, charging it to Paragraph 6, Section II of the extra- 
ordinary budget. Depending on how events develop, I should 
like to reserve the possibility of approaching Your Excellency 
again in the near future with the request that you agree further 
sums. I should be grateful for a reply as soon as possible. 1 

KtJHLMANN 

1 The sum of 1 5 million marks was agreed to by the State Secretary of the Trea- 
sury on 1 November 1 9 1 7 (AS 4209 in WK 1 1 c seer, volume 23) . 



7 6 

The Liaison Officer at General Headquarters to the Foreign 

Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. 1628 

A 37368 9 November 191 7, 8.00 p.m. 

Received: 9 November, 8.30 p.m. 

General Ludendorff has sent the following telegram to Eastern 

Command and to Generals von Mackensen, von Seeckt, and von 

Cramon (for General von Arz) . 

'According to intercepted radio transmissions, a revolution 

has broken out in Petrograd in which the Workers' and 

Soldiers' Council is supposed to have been victorious. The 

Council seems to be trying to prevent the withdrawal of troops 

from the front to Petrograd. The victory of the Workers' and 

Soldiers' Council is nevertheless desirable from our point of 

view. I therefore request that you exploit the intercepted radio 

transmission for propaganda to this end.' 

Lersner 



76 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

77 
The Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister to the Chancellor 

As 4240 Vienna, 10 November 191 7 

Your Excellency, 

The revolution in Petrograd, which has at least temporarily 
placed the power into the hands of Lenin and his followers, has 
come sooner than we had thought possible. Whether or not the 
Maximalists will be in a position to establish themselves and to 
exercise governmental power for any length of time, even on the 
scale on which this was done under Kerenski, will emerge in the 
next few days. However, numerous signs seem to me to indicate 
that this question will be answered in the affirmative. 

If Lenin and the Bolsheviks should succeed in maintaining 
their power, then they will be forced to carry out with the 
utmost vigour the governmental programme which they have 
formulated. In this context, their promise to bring Russia a 
'democratic peace' will occupy first place, and we therefore seem 
to have reached a decisive turning-point in the peace question. 

As I am considerably the younger of the two of us, I am far 
from wishing to take the initiative or to offer suggestions to 
Your Excellency, who has much greater experience on which 
to draw. However, as, after our many discussions about the 
ramifications of the peace question, I must presume that Your 
Excellency will also be considering how the altered situation in 
Russia can best be used to further our aims, I consider it my 
duty to expound to Your Excellency in this letter the view that I 
have formed of the situation at this moment, and to present the 
conclusions that seem to me to arise from it. 

Whether or not Lenin and his colleagues will have the power 
to maintain their supremacy for any considerable time is probably 
a question which nobody can answer. For this very reason, how- 
ever, it would seem essential to exploit this moment, and to 
offer them all the help that they would need to produce faits 
accomplis in the peace question. If the Leninists were to succeed 
even in bringing about the promised armistice, then, it seems to 
me, we should have won almost a complete victory on the 
Russian sector, for, if it achieved an armistice, the Russian 
army, in its present state, would surely pour back into the hinter- 
land in order to be on the spot when the estates are distributed. 






10 NOVEMBER I 9 I 7 77 

In the present circumstances, an armistice would make this 
army vanish, not to reappear at the front within the forseeable 
future. 

From what I know of Lenin's ideas and intentions, they are 
directed first of all towards renewing the attempt to achieve 
general peace, and next, if the Western powers would not permit 
the former, towards concluding a separate peace with us. 
According to reports received from Petrograd, Lenin has already 
approached the Western Powers with a view to obtaining their 
agreement to the conclusion of a general peace, and, according 
to my information, has given them only a short time in which to 
answer his request. If, as we can presume with reasonable cer- 
tainty, the other Entente Powers refuse, then Lenin will be 
faced with the decision to turn his idea of a separate peace with 
the Central Powers into a reality. However, he will only wish to 
do this, or be able to, if we accept the formula, peace 'without 
annexations or reparations'. 

We should certainly be furthering this course of development 
if we were once again to announce to the men in power in 
Russia in some sufficiently friendly way that we still adhere to 
the principles for peace which we have formulated, that is, those 
set out in the peace resolution passed in the Reichstag, in Herr 
von-Kuhlmann's speech, in my various announcements, and in 
our answers to the Pope's peace note. On the basis of such 
declarations by the Central Powers, and after the rejection of a 
general peace without annexations or reparations by the Western 
Powers, Lenin could then easily make advances towards a 
separate peace with us within the terms of his programme, and 
could proceed to the conclusion of an armistice. Since the 
Maximalists' programme includes the concession of the right to 
self-determination of the non-Russian peoples of Russia, the 
question of what should finally be done with Congress Poland, 
Courland, Livonia, and Finland could well be left to be decided 
in the course of peace negotiations. It would be our business to 
ensure that the desire for separation from Russia and for political 
and economic dependence on the Central Powers be voiced from 
within these nations. In view of what I have said, I therefore 
believe that we could influence the development of the situation 
in Russia favourably to our aims, if, as soon as possible, we were 
to make declarations to the effect stated and such as would be 
sufficient to enable the Maximalists to enter into direct negotia- 
tions with us without any fears. As far as I am concerned, I 
would consider allowing myself to be interviewed, for the 






78 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

reports received from Petrograd offer sufficient grounds for a 
comprehensive answer. 

In view of our great military successes on the Italian front, 
there is now no reason to fear that a statement in these terms 
could be interpreted as a sign of our weakness : nor can I see that 
any other harmful effects could result from such a step. In 
addition, a further advantage which we should gain from this 
step is that we should take every gust of wind out of the sails of 
our Socialist parties, with whom Lenin is already trying to open 
relations. Lenin's desire to negotiate with the Socialist parties 
of the Central Powers about peace is, in the last analysis, only 
an attempt to kindle the social revolution in the states of the 
Central Powers, as a defence for Russia in place of his now 
almost useless military apparatus. However, if we, as govern- 
ments, take up the basic standpoint of peace without annexa- 
tions or reparations, then the ground will be removed from 
under the feet of this new Socialist conference before it assembles ; 
and it seems to me important that we should make such a meet- 
ing superfluous. 

I should be most obliged to Your Excellency if you would be 
good enough to examine the ideas which I have developed here, 
and to give me your opinion of the matter as soon as possible. In 
my opinion, we should not allow this moment to pass un- 
exploited, nor miss any opportunity of bringing the war in the 
East to an end. For the second time, we are being offered the 
chance of achieving this end by quick action. I doubt whether 
the possibility will arise again in such favourable circumstances. 
I need not enumerate the opportunities, both military and 
political, which will be offered to us, and especially to Germany, 
if we can finish with the Russians now. I would, on the other 
hand, like to emphasize the economic factor, for, after a break 
with the Western Powers, Russia will be forced to rely econo- 
mically on the Central Powers, who will then have the oppor- 
tunity of penetrating and reorganizing Russian economic life. 
The significance of this for the future needs no further comment. 

Yours, &c, 
Czernin 

P.S. Since I ended this letter, a telegram has arrived from 
Petrograd, containing the basic principles for an offer of peace, 
decided on by the Soviet Congress, and these confirm the accu- 
racy of the idea, which I expressed above, that Lenin's group 
is determined to put its peace programme into effect as quickly 



10 NOVEMBER I917 79 

as possible and that it is, for the moment, still proposing a 
general peace. However, it must be clear to the Maximalists that 
a general peace cannot develop from their suggestions, since 
their ideas are by nature directed more against the Western 
Powers than against us. I therefore think that the premises 
underlying my suggestions have been reinforced by the offer of 
peace made by the Soviet Congress. 1 

1 This letter was one of two enclosures sent by Herding, the Imperial Chancellor, 
to Kuhlmann on 1 2 November. Herding was in Munich at the time and Czernin's 
letter was handed over to him by Thun, the Austro-Hungarian Minister there. 
Herding expressed his agreement in principle with Czernin's arguments, but re- 
served the right to define his attitude more precisely later. He asked Kuhlmann 
what proposals he had to make. 

78 

The Under State Secretary to the Minister in Stockholm 

TELEGRAM NO. I526 

AS 4178 Berlin, 10 November 191 7 

In answer to Telegram No. 1796. 1 

For Riezler. 

Half of desired sum will be taken on Sunday by Feldjager. 
Remainder on Tuesday. Further sums available if necessary. If 
more war loan is to be sent, please inform me whether in large 
or small denominations. Send acknowledgement of receipt to 

BUSSGHE 
1 See document No. 72. 

79 

The Counsellor of Legation in Copenhagen to the Foreign 

Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. I 32 9 

AS4211 10 November 1917 

Dispatched: 11 November, 12.30 a.m. 
Received: 11 November, 5.10 a.m. 

In continuation of telegram No. 812 of 3 November. 1 

L[6wenstein], 2 who has so far received 2,000 kronen, i.e. 5,000 
marks, urgently requests further 20,000 marks. The majority of 



80 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

the sum is needed for the journey of two confidential agents to 
Petrograd. The journey is necessary, as written communications 
with Z[ivin] are uncertain nowadays. 3 It appears essential to 
speed up the matter, as longer inactivity may arouse suspicion. 
Please telegraph instructions. 

L[owenstein] further asked me to report his appreciation of 
the situation, also for the information of Bern: 'Lenin needs 
German support to carry out his programme. This means that 
the German Government must publicly recognize the war aims 
of the majority parties. Since these war aims more or less co- 
incide with those of the Bolsheviks, Lenin can ask the Allies to 
open negotiations on this basis ; if they decline to do so Russia 
will be free of any obligations to the Entente. If the conditions 
made by the Central Powers are more difficult than those con- 
tained in the declaration of the majority parties, they will frus- 
trate Lenin's intention of concluding peace. This would be 
followed by either his turning to the right or by another revolu- 
tion. The reports of the proposed separation of Poland and 
Lithuania from Russia have, at the present moment, weakened 
confidence in German policy; a reassuring declaration would be 
valuable.' 

L[6wenstein] would be thankful for information as to how to 

handle the above-mentioned problems and to instruct the agents 

who will 2:0 to Russia. T . r 

° Wittgenstein 

1 AS 4092 in WK 2 seer, volume 5 1 . A telegram which recommended the plans 
of Zivin. 

2 Lowenstein, a friend of Zivin, the Social Revolutionary, whom Zivin had 
introduced to the German Minister in Bern. 

3 Romberg reported on 23 October 1917 (AS 4023 in WK 2 seer, volume 51) 
a rumour circulating in Russian circles in Switzerland that Zivin had been im- 
prisoned on a charge of high treason. The provisional government appeared to 
have had proofs that Zivin had some connexions with the Central Powers. 



80 

The Under State Secretary to the Minister in Copenhagen 

TELEGRAM NO. 840 

11 November 19 17 
In reply to telegram No. 1329. 

20,000 marks for Blau 1 approved. He can send a message to 
Russia that the Imperial government still stands on the basis of 



II NOVEMBER I 9 I 7 81 

the Reichstag resolution. If necessary this can be stressed pub- 
licly when the opportunity arises. _ 

-DUSSCHE 

1 Lowenstein's cover name. 



81 

The Counsellor of Legation in Stockholm to the Chancellor 

REPORT NO. 1413 

A 38075 12 November 1 91 7 

The news of their friends' victory is believed to have put the 
Bolsheviks here into a state of high excitement and even to have 
robbed them of their sleep. They seem to think that they will 
soon be the ambassadors of the new Russia, and pretend to be 
well informed about the smallest details. However, they have 
not as yet actually received any instructions from Petrograd. 

At the moment I do not think that the new government in 
Petrograd, supposing that it should succeed in securing its power 
sufficiently and in maintaining it for at least a few weeks, will 
employ Radek, Furstenberg, and Vorovski 1 as intermediaries. 
No clear picture can be gained of the relationship between the 
Bolshevik representatives here and the leaders in Petrograd. 
Since the presence of the actual leaders of the Petrograd move- 
ment, Lenin, Zinoviev, and Trotsky, must be required on the 
spot, where unparalleled confusion demands the exercise of their 
full authority at every moment, it is nevertheless possible that 
the Bolsheviks, should they be able to form a government at all, 
may give important commissions to their representatives here. 

The most energetic and most talented of these is the Pole 
Sobelsohn, well known to German Social Democrats from his 
German past, who usually goes under the pseudonym Karl 
Radek. As a student, he is supposed to have stolen books and 
other such things and therefore to have been given the nickname 
Kradek (thief) by his friends. The Russian newspapers still 
speak of him under this name, and he has proudly formed his 
pseudonym from it. He is described as being quite unscrupulous, 
but very clever and extremely talented as an author; and it is 
said that, in spite of all his ideological principles, he is not deaf 
to opportunist considerations. For the moment his industrious- 
ness and his knowledge of German politics — he is well informed 



82 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

even about secret events — should assure respect in Petrograd 
for his ideas and suggestions. 

Of the leaders in Petrograd, Lenin and Trotsky are supposed 
to be the most important. Both spent formative years in the 
West; both far surpass their Social Patriotic opponents in 
strength of personality, and both are practical revolutionaries 
in the grand manner. Lenin, a Tartar by the name of Ulyanov, 
and apparently the organizer and leader of this well-run and 
circumspectly led movement, is a theorist as regards radical 
ends, but is practical and direct in the use of means. Trotsky, 
whose real name is Braunstein, was in France until the outbreak 
of the war, but was hounded out of that country, supposedly 
because of his knowledge of Izvolski's guilt in the murder of 
Jaures. From Switzerland he fled to Spain, and from there, with 
the help of the Spanish Socialists, to America. On his return, 
after the outbreak of the revolution, he was forcibly taken off 
his ship by the English and put in prison, and he is said to have 
brought a burning hatred of the English back with him from this 
journey. If, in spite of the opposition of the whole administration, 
those now in power should succeed in forming a proper govern- 
ment, he is held up as the most probable Foreign Minister. 

Both Lenin and Trotsky are supposed to have enormous per- 
sonal authority amongst their followers. They are probably 
capable of keeping order in their party, and of securing and 
maintaining dictatorial power. In contrast to the Mensheviks, 
the Bolshevik theorists had jettisoned the parliamentary theory 
as early as 1 906, setting up the idea of the revolutionary dicta- 
torship of a small committee of determined leaders as their only 
possible course. If, therefore, the new government comes into 
existence at all and succeeds in breaking down the opposition 
of the entire bourgeois world, it will not have to defend its own 
position and its freedom of action, in speeches and assemblies 
and even against its own followers, to the same extent as its 
predecessors. 

Even if the power of the Bolsheviks in Russia only lasts a few 
weeks, the country will almost certainly have to face terror such 
as even France under Marat hardly experienced. The Bolsheviks 
attacked the Social Revolutionary party for trying to prevent 
the peasants from burning down farms and seizing land by 
force. Once in possession of power, which they hope to preserve 
by making use of the peasants' hunger for land, they will be in- 
capable of stopping the incendiarism which they were defending 
only a little while before. The peasants will seize by force the 



12 NOVEMBER I917 83 

land that has been promised them and the soldiers will hurry 
home from the trenches so as not to come off second-best. 
Should they capture Kerensky, Miliukov, and Tereschenko, 
who let the peace and land questions 'rot to stinking corpses', 
then these men can be sure of a quick and energetically run trial. 
The Bolsheviks will presumably try to put the entire executive 
into the hands of the local Workers' and Soldiers' Councils and 
completely to eliminate the existing administrative machinery. 
If they are successful in this, even for only a few weeks and even 
if no cease-fire agreement should be reached, the country will 
cease to figure in military and economic calculations concerning 
the World War, and it would take the old regime, which would 
presumably be restored in this case, years to restore order 
among the chaos. 

Should the present civil war, which is still undecided, end in 
the defeat of the Bolsheviks, then their watchword 'Peace and 
Land', once thrown to the masses, will continue to have enor- 
mous effects and will force any new government that does not 
sooner or later want to face another Bolshevik rising, at least to 
make a pretence of following in the footsteps of the Bolsheviks 

on these two issues. „ 

Kiezler 

1 The name Vorovski is spelled Orlowski in the German original. 



82 

The State Secretary to the Minister in Munich 

TELEGRAM NO. 102 

AS 4240 Berlin, 1 3 November 1 9 1 7 

For the Imperial Chancellor. 

I humbly thank Your Excellency for your letter of yesterday's 
date and for the enclosures accompanying it. 1 

As Your Excellency already knows, on 9 November the 
Petrograd Telegraph Agency published the conditions which 
had been accepted by the Congress of Workers' and Soldiers' 
Councils for an offer of peace. This announcement was pub- 
lished in our press on Monday, after the High Command of the 
Army had dropped their original objections to its publication. 



84 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

As early as Saturday, Count Czernin had urgently recommended 
that the Russian announcement should be the subject of favour- 
able discussion, couched in similar terms to those used in the 
commentary which he had published in his foreign bulletin, in 
our semi-official organs. In answer to this, I raised the objection 
that, judging by all the reports received so far, the struggle for 
power between Lenin and Kerensky was not yet over, that the 
Bolshevik regime could by no means be regarded as stable, and 
that by prematurely taking up the unofficial Bolshevik an- 
nouncement, the terms of which had only been reported here 
by the Telegraph Agency, we should only be taking the risk of 
appearing weak. 

I am still not prepared to drop this objection. I have just re- 
ceived the following private report (not yet confirmed) from 
Stockholm: 'According to authentic reports just received, 
Kerensky, together with Kornilov and Kaledin, has occupied 
Petrograd. Lenin and his followers have entrenched themselves 
in the Smolny quarter. Informed Russian circles here believe 
that the Bolshevik rising has, for the moment, been liquidated, 
and that any future government in Russia has no choice but to 
follow a determined peace policy.' According to reports from 
our Legation in Stockholm, the Entente Powers are reckoning 
with the collapse of the Bolshevik government within two to 
three weeks. The refusal of the Russian Legation in Copenhagen 
to recognize the present government is symptomatic of this con- 
viction. In these circumstances, I think that it would be wiser 
first of all to await the further course of events in Petrograd. 
Should the Bolsheviks really succeed in keeping their govern- 
ment in power, we would still be in a position to take up a 
Russian offer of peace or of an armistice at any moment, and 
to exploit the opportunities enumerated by Count Czernin 
better than we could at the present time. A nervous and hasty 
policy in this matter would only spoil things, and would, in 
addition, be condemned by German public opinion. 

KtJHLMANN 
1 See document No. 77. 



15 NOVEMBER I917 85 

83 

The Minister in Bern to the Foreign Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. 1833 

AS 4279 15 November 191 7 

Dispatched: 1 6 November, i a.m. 
Received: 16 November, 4.55 a.m. 

For Bergen. Baier asked that Nasse 1 should be told of the follow- 
ing telegram from Stockholm: 'Please fulfill your promise im- 
mediately. We have committed ourselves on this basis, 2 because 
great demands are being made on us. Vorovski.' Baier let me 
know that this message may make his journey to the North more 

Romberg 

1 Nasse was in Berlin at the time. 

2 Vorovski was probably alluding to the conclusion of peace between Russia 
and Germany. 

84 

The Under State Secretary to the Foreign Ministry Liaison 
Officer at General Headquarters 

TELEGRAM NO. 1804 

A 38241 Berlin, 16 November 191 7 

Christo Rakovsky, a Rumanian Socialist born in Bulgaria, runs 
a Russian socialist paper in Stockholm. Formerly, he was con- 
nected with us and he was working for us in Rumania. 1 Rakovsky 
asked whether his wife, at present in Bucharest, could be allowed 
to come to him in Stockholm. This request, supported by the 
Bulgarian Minister, is approved here. „ 

JDTJSSCHE 

1 In 1915 Bussche was the German Minister in Bucharest. Rakovsky spent most 
of his time there as well, leading the Rumanian Socialist party and editing its daily 
newspaper. On 13 January 1915 Bussche telegraphed to the Foreign Ministry (tele- 
gram No. 49, AS 161 in Deutschland Nr. 128, Nr. 2 seer, volume 20) : 'The Ruman- 
ian Socialists, whose leader, Rakovsky, has close connexions with the Italian 
Socialists, want to resume, in the press and at public meetings, keen agitation 
against Rumania's entry into the war against the Central Powers. I am in a position 
to let them have money in an inconspicuous manner, which Siidekum was not suc- 
cessful in doing. I regard the matter as important and I beg you to approve the 
expenditure of 100,000 Lei for this purpose. I have to have the reply before Friday 
morning. Bussche.' The day after, the Deputy State Secretary telegraphed his 
approval to Bucharest. 

Helphand was there at the time, on his way from Constantinople to Vienna. It 



86 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

is very likely that he acted as intermediary between Bussche and Rakovsky. On 
14 January Bussche wrote to Zimmermann, enclosing a number of reports, among 
them one from Helphand, who wrote : 'Apart from Batsaria I talked to Christo 
Rakovsky, whose energetic stand for peace is well known. He is also of the opinion 
that it can be expected that Rumania will declare war on the Central Powers 
shortly' (AS 209 in Deutschland Nr. 128, Nr. 2 seer, volume 20) ._ 

Later on in the year Bussche reported from Bucharest that a Socialist demonstra- 
tion for peace, with Rakovsky as the main speaker, took place on 4 July. Bussche 
made it clear in his report that the 'demonstration was supported by me and the 
Austro-Hungarian Ministry' (A 20932 in Deutschland Nr. 128, Nr. 2 seer, volume 
35). At the end of 1916, after Rumania had entered the war on the side of the 
Allies, Rakovsky was arrested by the Rumanian authorities for conducting pro- 
paganda against the war. 

It is interesting to note in this connexion that a reference was made, at the Mos- 
cow trials, to Rakovsky's activities in Rumania in 1 915. (Report of Court Proceedings 
in the case of the Anti-Soviet 'Block of Rights and Trotskyites' , Moscow, 1938, pp. 300-1.) 
In 1924 one Armstrong allegedly used a letter, dating from 1915, to blackmail 
Rakovsky into joining the British intelligence service. The following conversation 
between Vishinsky and Rakovsky is the verbatim report of the relevant part of the 
trial : 

Vishinsky: For whom was this letter intended? 

Rakovsky : This letter was written to Germany, but there was no address. 
V. : The letter was intended for Germany? 

R. : It followed from the content that it was intended for the German government. 
V. : For the German intelligence service? 
R. : Possibly. 

V. : What did the letter say? 

R. : The letter said approximately the following: I am enclosing a list of Rumanian 
commercial firms and newspaper offices which should be won oyer to the side of 
Germany in order to draw Rumania itself into the war on the side of Germany. 
V. : What was the meaning of these contents of the letter? 

R. : The contents of the letter meant that there existed a connexion between me and 
the German intelligence service, the German government, or some German 
organization. 
V. : And you helped Germany in enlisting Rumanian citizens on Rumanian terri- 
tory to aid Germany? 
R.:Yes. 

There are, in the Rumanian files of the German Foreign Ministry, lists of firms 
and newspapers which it was intended to bring under German influence. They 
came from Roselius, a Bremen merchant active in the Balkans at the time. None 
of them bears Rakovsky's signature. How Rakovsky or Vishinsky knew about 
their existence is a mystery. 



85 

The Minister in Stockholm to the Foreign Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. 1854 

AS 4337 19 November 1917, 3.50 p.m. 

Received: 19 November, 7.20 p.m. 

Parvus has received urgent call from Adolf Mliller to come to 
Switzerland, presumably for negotiations with Italian Socialists. 



ig NOVEMBER I917 87 

He has refused. He suggests that Miiller be informed that he has 
opened contacts with Petrograd and sees prospects of negotia- 
tions in near future. He promises 'the furtherance of [one word 
garbled] with regard to Russia'. Riezler. T 



86 

The Legation in Stockholm to the Foreign Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. 187O 

AS 4368 22 November 1917, 3.05 p.m. 

Received: 22 November, 7.50 p.m. 

For Deputy Erzberger and Counsellor Nadolny. 

Parvus's undertaking has come to knowledge of Russian colony 
here prematurely and has been viewed unfavourably. Even 
circles close to the Bolsheviks have raised objections to his being 
entrusted with such a delicate mission, saying that German 
Social. Democrats would present Bolshevik's opponents with a 
powerful weapon by 'electing' a man like him as courier, while 
the other side says that hardly are the Bolsheviks at the helm 
before Parvus pays them their allowance. It is believed that 
Parvus's appearance in Petrograd will endanger the imminently 
expected formation of a Democratic coalition there. 

Immediately on my arrival yesterday, I had detailed discus- 
sion, in the terms set out in the memorandum which I gave to 
Herr Erzberger on Sunday, with our people who, in turn, made 
contact with the Bolshevik leader Vorovski. According to 
Russian press, Vorovski has been appointed representative, and 
he is expecting official confirmation at any moment. Meanwhile, 
some Bolsheviks have asked police here what they would do if 
Bolsheviks arrested Russian Minister here, who refuses to vacate 
his position. Police naturally declined to answer. Typical of 

Bolsheviks. w , c 

Wucnerpienmg 

Legation 



88 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

87 

The Minister in Bern to the Foreign Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. 1862 

A 39102 22 November 1 91 7 

Dispatched: 23 November, 2 a.m. 
Received: 23 November, 4 a.m. 

A reliable, extremely well-informed agent reports the following 
in strictest confidence : 'The planned transport of emigres includes 
all the Bolsheviks and Internationalists who were left behind in 
Switzerland by the previous transports, among them whole 
families with wives and children. The Internationalists are the 
left wing of the Mensheviks, who were represented by Martov 
at Zimmerwald and who are fighting for the development and 
strengthening of "the Russian revolution on the basis of a class- 
conscious independence of the proletariat". One of them is 
Bagocki, the President of the Russian Committee of Emigres in 
Zurich. Bagocki is a Pole, educated in Russia; he will stay in 
Petrograd. Another of those to travel is Dr. Kornblum, a friend 
of Lenin and a leading politician, who stayed behind in order 
to take a degree in chemistry. 

'According to the decision of the Central Committee, only the 
"illegals", i.e. the genuine emigres who are active in the revolu- 
tion will be transported to Russia : this time no exception should 
be made for those emigres who may have sympathized with the 
"illegals". 

'The emigres can leave seven days after permission to travel is 
granted. 

'They have done nothing about their Swedish entry or transit 
visas because they do not know whether this is necessary or 
desirable.' 

Deputy Adolf Miiller urgently supports this application and 
recommends us to grant permission to travel as soon as possible. 
Panov has not yet come to see me. „ 



25 NOVEMBER 1917 89 

88 

The Under State Secretary to the Foreign Ministry Liaison 
Officer at General Headquarters 

TELEGRAM NO. 783 

A 38976 Berlin, 25 November 1 91 7 

The committee of the Russian emigres in Zurich has applied, 
through the intermediary of Chief Justice Zgraggen, for per- 
mission for 50 to 100 Russian emigres (including women and 
children) to travel through Germany under the same con- 
ditions as those made for the previous convoys. 

Since most of them are probably Bolsheviks, the application 
is approved by us. For the moment the emigres have been told 
that they must first of all procure Swedish entry visas. According 
to a report from the Imperial Legation in Stockholm, the 
Swedish Minister in Petrograd has telegraphed, saying that, in 
view of the state of the railways, returning emigres should not 
be sent on to the frontier. In order to avoid the massing of 
returning emigres in its country the Swedish government has 
therefore stopped the issue of entry visas. 

I would ask Your Excellency to find out from the High Com- 
mand of the Army whether the emigres journey may take place 
in the event of their procuring Swedish visas. If so, the Political 
Section would have to be instructed accordingly. 1 

Bussche 

1 Reply from Lersner: A 40476 in WK a seer, volume 53: Report No. 1040, 
1. 1 2. 1 7. 'There are no objections in the General Headquarters to the transport of 
the emigrants if they acquire Swedish visas. The Political Section, Berlin will be 
informed. Lersner.' 

89 

The Counsellor of Legation in Stockholm to the 
Chancellor 

REPORT NO. 1484 

A3g974 Stockholm, 26 November 1917 

Subject: The situation in Petrograd. 

One's joy at the courage and determination of the Bolshevik 
government must not lead one to put too much faith in the 



go GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

optimistic claims for the duration of their government being 
made by the Bolsheviks here. For example, since Lenin's victory, 
the representatives here have asserted every day that the efforts 
to form a coalition with the other Socialist parties would un- 
questionably be successful in the very near future, and that this 
would secure the existence of the new government and ensure 
its ability to act. So far these efforts have not only been un- 
successful, but the very question of forming a coalition has led 
to violent differences amongst the Bolsheviks themselves and to 
the separation of a considerable number of their followers. To 
illustrate the uncertain attitude of the Bolshevik government, 
I would draw your attention to the telegram of the 23rd from 
the Haparanda press office. For the moment, we are dealing 
with what is simply the forceful dictatorship of a handful of 
determined revolutionaries, whose domination is held in com- 
plete contempt by the rest of Russia and is only tolerated be- 
cause these men promise immediate peace and, as is generally 
known, will bring it. 

By any reasonable judgement, the supremacy of these people 
will shake the whole Russian state to its roots and, in all prob- 
ability, in not more than a few months, when the raison 
d'etre of the new government has ceased to exist, and the war 
against other nations has finally been brought to an end, it will 
then be swept away by a flood of violent hostility throughout 
the rest of Russia. 

It is in the light of this situation that the usefulness of Gold- 
berg's activities, which were set in motion by Deputy Erzberger, 
must be judged. However correct the policy of agreement, which 
was laid down in the Reichstag on 1 9 July as a continuation of 
Imperial Chancellor von Bethmann-Hollweg's policy, may be, 
it must not tempt one to adopt the idea that a rapprochement be- 
tween the German people and the Russian people — in the sense 
of friendship between peoples — should be initiated through 
negotiations between the majority parties and delegates of those 
now in power in Russia. It is this idea that Goldberg has thrust 
into the foreground. It would probably be a grave political error 
even to seem to bind the future of Russo-German relations to 
the fortunes of the men now in power in Russia. The duration 
of their government will bring no more than a cease-fire and 
possibly a formal peace. In the circumstances, and in view of the 
violent shocks which are in all probability still facing Russia, 
we shall not be able to take up proper peaceful communications 
and a friendly, neighbourly relationship once more until some 



26 NOVEMBER I917 9 1 

considerable time has elapsed and a start is made in the gradual 
restoration of order. That will be the time to begin working for 
agreements, with the Russian people and with another Russian 
government, such as those Goldberg has in mind. Until then, 
only a cautious handling of commercial issues by representatives 
of the actual government will be possible or to the point, and 
only action of this kind will enable us to achieve a transition to 
good relations, even with a new government and a Russia which 
is not Bolshevik. Riezler 



90 

The Minister in Stockholm to the Chancellor 

REPORT NO. I482 

Asgg75 Stockholm, 26 November 191 7 

Subject: Deputy Erzberger's discussions with the Bolsheviks. 

In the light of my observations in the past, and especially after 
the discussion I had yesterday with my Bulgarian colleague, 
who has excellent connexions with Russian Socialists of all 
shades, I can only subscribe to the report 1 which Your Excel- 
lency received from Counsellor Riezler, in which he said that 
the discussions between Deputy Erzberger and the Bolsheviks 
here, which haVe already lasted a considerable time, have 
created great uncertainty, to the detriment of the general 
negotiations. With his notorious vanity, Erzberger has been 
determined to win a personal success and he let the Bolsheviks 
know, some considerable time ago, that the German people 
wanted peace and that an agreement with him, Erzberger — as 
the representative of the majority parties — would also bind the 
Imperial government. 2 This has undoubtedly created the double 
misconception in the minds of the Bolsheviks — who are very 
naive in political matters — that there is a great hunger for peace 
in Germany and that there is a split between the representatives 
of the people and the government, of which the latter can be 
ignored. Such a belief must, of necessity, not only make Coun- 
sellor Riezler's task more difficult, but must also weaken the 
authority of any declaration made by the government. 
Judging by what I have found out about Erzberger's negotia- 



92 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

tions so far, for example those with Kolyshko, about which 
Hugo Stinnes, amongst others, is very well informed, 3 I regard 
him as extremely ill-suited to negotiate with the Russians, to 
whom he has already made the most dangerous confidences 
about our internal and external affairs. For example, the dis- 
cussion lasting several hours which a confidential agent of 
Deputy Erzberger was instructed to hold with Vorovski, re- 
sulted in the latter ironically telling a German, soon afterwards, 
that the men in Petrograd now knew all about the mood of all 
the German parties. The Germans, too, needed peace. 

Lucius 

1 Document No. 89. 

2 Kiihlmann's marginal comment: 'An end should be finally put to this.' 

3 According to German sources, Kolyshko was, for fifteen years, the private 
secretary of Baron Witte. In June 1915 he came to Stockholm with an American 
called Passwell, who introduced Kolyshko to the German Minister there. Kolyshko 
expressed his willingness to conduct pro-German peace propaganda in Russia in 
the Ruskoe Slovo. Rantzau, from Copenhagen, advocated reserve and caution in the 
treatment of Kolyshko and his plans. 

In July 1 9 1 6 Kolyshko made another appearance in Stockholm, this time accom- 
panied by Prince Bebutov. Bockelmann, an agent of the Foreign Ministry, nego- 
tiated with them. It became clear during these negotiations that the two Russians 
regarded the setting up of a publishing house, which would become the centre of 
pro-German propaganda, as extremely desirable. Warburg, a member of the 
Hamburg banking family, thought the project not only plausible, but profitable. 

Hugo Stinnes, the industrialist, was also interested in the negotiations between 
the Russians and Bockelmann, but regarded the whole business, in its initial stages, 
with animosity. Stinnes wanted to play the leading role, but Lucius, the German 
Minister in Stockholm, maintained that Bockelmann, who had relations with 
prominent Russians, was much more suitable to conduct the negotiations than 
Trenck or Fehrmann, Stinnes's agents in Scandinavia. 

On 12 August 1 91 6 a compromise was finally reached between Stinnes and 
Bockelmann. Stinnes undertook to lend Bockelmann 2 million roubles for the 
financing of a publishing house in Russia. Two days later Jagow, the State Secre- 
tary in the Foreign Ministry, and Stinnes signed an agreement in Berlin, by which 
the Foreign Ministry reserved the right to control the undertaking as far as the 
relations between Germany and Russia were concerned. 

It is likely that some of the money intended for influencing the Russian press in 
favour of Germany and peace reached, via Kolyshko, Maxim Gorki's paper Novaia 

Fehrmann wrote in one of his reports for Stinnes (AS 1 800 in WK 2 seer, volume 
36): 'It [Novaia £hizn] has started to appear only now [May 191 7] and therefore 
the presumption remains justified that our friend is connected with it. He probably 
has Gorki work on purely Social Democrat lines, in order to keep the Lutch in 
reserve for himself.' 

Before Kolyshko was arrested by the Provisional government in the summer of 
1917, he went over to Stockholm once more. He saw Erzberger there on that occa- 
sion. The documents on the separate peace negotiations in which Kolyshko, 
Bebutov, Protopopov, Erzberger, Bockelmann, Warburg, and others took part 
can be found mainly in the series WK 2 seer, and WK 2. The key documents for 
the negotiations for the establishment of a publishing house in Russia are in 
Russland Nr. 74 seer, volume 2. The Nachlass Jagow, the private papers of 
the one-time State Secretary, also contain some interesting material on these 
negotiations. 



26 NOVEMBER igi7 93 

91 

The Minister in Bern to the Foreign Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. 1895 

AS 4446 26 November 191 7 

Dispatched: 27 November, 2.30 p.m. 
Received: 27 November, 4.10 p.m. 

For Bergen. Baier must postpone his departure by a week on 

medical advice. Nasse is also staying here for the time being. In 

the meantime, the requested financial aid is being dispatched 

through safe channels. „ 

Romberg 

92 
The Under State Secretary to the Minister in Bern 

TELEGRAM NO. I367 

AS 4446 Berlin, 28 November 191 7 

In answer to Telegram No. 1895. 

According to information received here, the government in 
Petrograd is having to fight against great financial difficulties. 
It is therefore very desirable that they be sent money. Bergen. 

Bussche 

93 

The Liaison Officer at General Headquarters to the 
Foreign Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. I 77 I 

AS 4486 29 November 1917, 7.25 p.m. 

Received: 29 November, 7.35 p.m. 

For the attention of the State Secretary. 

Should there be peace negotiations with Russia in the fore- 
seeable future, His Majesty requests that Your Excellency 



94 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

should, in spite of everything, still try to reach some kind of 
alliance or friendly relations with the Russians. He said that, as 
after the Russo-Japanese war, this might be easier than we now 
thought. He had already won the High Command of the Army 
over to the idea of getting the Russian railways running, if this 
were possible, and of putting German Railway General Staff 
officers at the Russians' disposal for this purpose. In the more 
distant future, the Emperor also hopes to set up a close com- 
mercial relationship with the Russians. 1 T 

r Lersner 

1 Kiihlmann's marginal note : 'For Bergen. Please draft a reply which would not 
be binding.' (Bitte einen Antwort aber 'ohne obligo'.) 



94 

The State Secretary to the Foreign Ministry Liaison Officer 
at General Headquarters 

TELEGRAM NO. I925 

AS 4486 Berlin, 3 December 191 7 

The disruption of the Entente and the subsequent creation of 
political combinations agreeable to us constitute the most im- 
portant war aim of our diplomacy. Russia appeared to be the 
weakest link in the enemy chain. The task therefore was 
gradually to loosen it, and, when possible, to remove it. This 
was the purpose of the subversive activity we caused to be car- 
ried out in Russia behind the front — in the first place promotion 
of separatist tendencies and support of the Bolsheviks. It was not 
until the Bolsheviks had received from us a steady flow of funds 
through various channels and under different labels that they 
were in a position to be able to build up their main organ, 
Pravda, to conduct energetic propaganda and appreciably to ex- 
tend the originally narrow basis of their party. The Bolsheviks 
have now come to power ; how long they will retain power can- 
not be yet foreseen. They need peace in order to strengthen their 
own position ; on the other hand it is entirely in our interest that 
we should exploit the period while they are in power, which may 
be a short one, in order to attain firstly an armistice and then, 
if possible, peace. 1 The conclusion of a separate peace would 



3 DECEMBER I 9 I 7 95 

mean the achievement of the desired war aim, namely a breach 
between Russia and her Allies. The amount of tension neces- 
sarily caused by such a breach would determine the degree of 
Russia's dependence on Germany and her future relations with 
us. Once cast out and cast off by her former Allies, abandoned 
financially, Russia will be forced to seek our support. We shall 
be able to provide help for Russia in various ways ; firstly in the 
rehabilitation of the railways; (I have in mind a German Rus- 
sian Commission, under our control, which would undertake 
the rational and co-ordinated exploitation of the railway lines 
so as to ensure speedy resumption of freight movement) , then 
the provision of a substantial loan, which Russia requires to 
maintain her state machine. This could take the form of an ad- 
vance on the security of grain, raw materials, &c, &c, to be 
provided by Russia and shipped under the control of the above- 
mentioned commission. Aid on such a basis — the scope to be in- 
creased as and when necessary — would in my opinion bring- 
about a growing rapprochement between the two countries. 

Austria-Hungary will regard the rapprochement with distrust 
and not without apprehension. I would interpret the excessive 
eagerness of Count Czernin to come to terms with the Russians 
as a desire to forestall us and to prevent Germany and Russia 
arriving at an intimate relationship inconvenient to the Danube 
Monarchy. There is no need for us to compete for Russia's good 
will. We are strong enough to wait with equanimity; we are in 
a far better position than Austria-Hungary to offer Russia what 
she needs for the reconstruction of her state. I view future 
developments in the East with confidence but I think it ex- 
pedient for the time being to maintain a certain reserve in our 
attitude to the Austro-Hungarian government in all matters 
including the Polish question which concern both monarchies 
so as to preserve a free hand for all eventualities. 

The above-mentioned considerations lie, I venture to believe, 
within the framework of the directives given me by His Majesty. 
I request you to report to His Majesty accordingly and to trans- 
mit to me by telegram the All-highest instructions. 

KtJHLMANN 

1 The words 'there can be no question of further support of the Bolsheviks' in 
Bergen's draft of this telegram were not dispatched. A copy of this telegram, as it 
was received and decoded at the General Headquarters, is in WK Gr. Haup- 
quartier Nr. 31b, volume 1. The editor is indebted to Mr. George Katkov, who 
gave his kind permission to reproduce here his translation of this and the subsequent 
document. See Mr. Katkov's article in International Affairs, volume 32, No. a. 



96 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

95 

The Liaison Officer at the Imperial Court to the Foreign 

Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. l8ig 

AS 4607 4 December 1917, 7.30 p.m. 

Received : 4 December 8.25 p.m. 

In reply to telegram No. 1925. 

His Majesty the Kaiser has expressed his agreement with 

Your Excellency's expose about a possible rapprochement with 

Russia. n .. 

Grunau 



96 

The Under State Secretary to the Foreign Ministry Liaison 
Officer at General Headquarters 

telegram no. 1943 

A 40476 Berlin, 5 December 191 7 

In reply to report No. 1040. 1 

The Swedish government has informed us that visas cannot be 
given to the Russian emigres until there is a guarantee that they 
will be allowed entry into Russia. 

As this information cannot be obtained through other chan- 
nels, and as the emigres in question are supposed to be close to 
Lenin, I request that you ask the High Command of the Army 
to ask the Russian Government, by radio-telegraph or through 
the Russians negotiating for a cease-fire, whether it will grant 
entry to the emigres who wish to return from Switzerland to 
Russia through Germany and, if so, whether it will inform the 
Swedish government accordingly. Alternatively, it might be 
possible to let the emigres through our lines and those of the 
Russians. -n 

BUSSGHE 
1 See document No. 88, footnote 1. 



5 DECEMBER I 9 I 7 97 

97 

The Under State Secretary to the Political Section of the 
Deputy General Staff in Berlin 

A 40476 5 December 191 7 

Copy 1 humbly sent to the Political Section of the General Staff 
in Berlin, with reference to the instructions about the return of 
Russian emigres from Switzerland sent directly to the Political 
Section by the High Command of the Army. According to a 
report from the Imperial Legation in Bern, the Russian author 
Karl Buchholz, who, according to a letter of 3 September from 
the Deputy General Staff was refused permission to travel from 
Switzerland to Sweden through Germany, intends to join up 
with the emigres in question. Since Buchholz is supposed to be on 
good terms with Lenin, and since he now wants to travel not to 
Sweden, but to Russia, it seems advisable to allow him and the 
other emigres transit through Germany. I would ask for a decision 
from you in this matter as soon as possible so that the Imperial 
Legation in Bern can be instructed accordingly. 

Bussche 

1 Copy of telegram No. 1943; document No. 96. 

98 

The Minister in Bern to the Foreign Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. I 949 

AS 4636 Bern, 5 December 191 7 

Dispatched: 6 December, 12.40 a.m. 
Received: 5.20 a.m. 
For the attention of Herr von Bergen. 

Baier sufficiently recovered to travel possibly Saturday, at latest 
Sunday. I urgently request instructions as to whether journey 
is desirable. 1 In view of the unusually powerful effect which, as 
far as can be judged here, has been produced everywhere by the 
much-publicized interview in the Freie Presse, 2 I believe that 
Baier, with the strong influence which he exercises on the 

B 6706 H 



98 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

Bolsheviks, will be in a position actively to counter the hostile 
exploitation of this interview which was, of course, immediately 
unleashed with all the means available. Romrfrc 

1 The reply from the Under Secretary of State: Berlin, 6 December 191 7. 
Telegram No. 1416. 'In answer to telegram No. 1949. Journey desirable. Bergen. 
Bussche.' (WK lie seer, volume 23.) 

2 Goldmann's interview with Hindenburg and Ludendorff, published in the 
Sunday edition of the New Freie Presse, 1 December 191 7. Ludendorff told Gold- 
mann: T do not regard the Bolshevik announcement as an offer of peace . ._. We 
can conclude an armistice with Russia only when we are certain that it will be 
observed. ... If somebody were to tell me that the Russian revolution was a lucky 
chance as far as we were concerned, I would protest: the revolution in Russia was 
no chance, but the natural and inevitable result of our conduct of the war. ... It is 
the outcome of our victory.' 



99 

Deputy Erzberger to the State Secretary 

A 40975 Berlin, 7 December 191 7 

Your Excellency, 

I have the honour to enclose a copy of a report which has just 
arrived here from Herr Ziese in Stockholm. 

Yours, &c, 

Erzberger 

Enclosure: Stockholm, 5 December 1917 

According to the latest reports from Petrograd, Lenin and 
Trotsky intend severely to punish those Russian Ministers 
abroad who do not recognize the authority of the Bolshevik 
government, first of all by stopping all supplies of money. This 
measure not only affects the accredited Ministers in the Entente 
countries, but those in neutral states as well. 

Gulkevich, the Russian Minister here, has also had his sup- 
plies of money stopped. These people are thus in an appalling 
position. They cannot pay their staff, and nobody will give them 
credit. An extraordinary situation will now arise, for Lenin and 
Trotsky will first of all send new Bolshevik representatives to the 
neutral countries. If these are not recognized, then Trotsky in- 
tends not to recognize the Ministers of the countries in question 
in Petrograd. This would be a great misfortune for us, for it is 
decidedly to our advantage that the neutral Ministers in 



7 DECEMBER I917 99 

Petrograd should continue in active office, since the Swedish 
Legation in particular is wholeheartedly and energetically 
representing German interests there. It would also be of great 
advantage to us to support the Bolshevik government, as it is 
definitely working for peace, that is, along the same lines as we. 
It would therefore be a very good thing if we could persuade the 
neutral governments to recognize the Bolshevik government and 
the Bolshevik Ministers in their own countries as quickly as 
possible. I would ask that this matter in particular be seriously 
and speedily considered, since it appears to me to be of the ut- 
most importance and since such action would even serve greatly 
to strengthen the position of the Bolsheviks inside Russia. 1 

The scene inside Russia is an extraordinary one. Quite a num- 
ber of different, independent republics have been formed. The 
latest of these, however, are the German Prisoners' Republics. In 
various places where there are large prisoner-of-war camps, the 
German prisoners, finding that all order had broken down 
around them, took the business of feeding and administration 
into their own hands and now feed not only themselves, but also 
the villages around. The villagers are extremely satisfied with 
this state of affairs and, together with the prisoners, have formed 
something like a republican administration, which is directed 
by the German prisoners. This could surely be called a new 
phenomenon in the history of the world. Russia, even more than 
America, is the land of unlimited possibilities. 

1 Kiihlmann's marginal remark: 'A copy for His Majesty, without revealing the 
source, should be seriously considered.' A copy of Ziese's report was sent to Griinau 
as No. 85 (Russland Nr. 61, volume 137). See also document No. 101. 



100 

The Minister in Stockholm to the Foreign Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. I987 

A 41289 8 December 191 7, 11.55 P- m - 

Received: 9 December, 2.45 a.m. 

Have just had private talk with Vorovski, who gives the im- 
pression of being an honest and reasonable man. He thinks that 
his government is forced by considerations for internal political 
opponents to leave open the possibility of Allied participation 



100 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

in the negotiations, and could only justify a separate peace by 
citing the refusal of the Allies to take part. However, he said that 
appeals to this effect were meant as platonically as calls to 
peoples to start the revolution. If the appeals were obviously 
unsuccessful, the Russians would go on to start direct negotia- 
tions for a separate peace. The question of peace would probably 
come up for discussion at the first session of the Constituent 
Assembly on 1 1 November, and would probably lead to violent 
strife with the Kadets. If no methods for negotiation are agreed 
at the front, he is prepared to suggest a practical method to his 
government. I explained to him that, in face of the attempts to 
sabotage or delay the negotiations which we must expect to en- 
counter, only businesslike and practical negotiations between 
the actual governments can lead to results. He is still toying with 
the idea of an inter-parliamentary conference, as he would 
expect such a conference to produce a favourable effect among 
the Western powers. However, he admits that this method might 
delay or endanger the outcome. He presumes that his govern- 
ment would prefer the negotiations to take place in a neutral 
country rather than in the atmosphere of the front. Riezler. 

Lucius 
Note: 

Telegraph Lucius immediately, 1 saying that he should tell 
Vorovski that only Brest can be considered for preliminary 
peace, as everything is ready there. Choice of a neutral place 
would greatly lengthen negotiations and would raise countless 
questions of international etiquette. 

Preliminary peace could be concluded in a very short time. 
Method and place for detailed negotiations, for which I might 
agree to a neutral meeting-place, would be the subject of direct 
negotiation. If Trotsky or Lenin came in person, I myself would 
appear for the negotiations, and this would offer a guarantee of 
a speedy conclusion. Request Lucius to continue to work 
energetically along the lines indicated in his telegram of today's 
date. The inter-parliamentary conference is impossible at- the 
moment and would result in the failure of the efforts being made 
to achieve peace. Kuhlmann 

1 This telegram was dispatched to Stockholm on 10 December 1917 as No. 1684 
(WK 2 seer, volume 53). 



9 DECEMBER I 9 I 7 101 

101 

The State Secretary to the Legation in Stockholm 

TELEGRAM NO. 1674 

A 40975 Berlin, 9 December 191 7 

The recognition of the Russian Bolshevik government by the, 
official recognition of its diplomatic representatives by neutral 
states would considerably strengthen the position of the Russian, 
government, which is engaged in negotiations with us. Since,; 
in the event of neutral states refusing to recognize diplomatic 
representatives appointed by the Bolsheviks, there is a danger 
that the Russian government might break off relations with 
the Ministers in Petrograd of the neutral states concerned, 
and since, moreover, we lay particular value on the continua- 
tion of the activities of the Swedish Minister in Petersburg, I 
request that you discuss the matter confidentially with the 
Swedish government and recommend them to recognize the 
Bolshevik representative as soon as possible. 

Send report by telesrram. „ .. 

KUHLMANN 



102 

The State Secretary to the Legation in Stockholm 

TELEGRAM NO. 1675 

A 41233 Berlin, 9 December 1917 

For Riezler. 

Scheidemann left here today to travel to Stockholm via Copen- 
hagen. He apparently intends to try to persuade Bolsheviks to 
hold peace negotiations with majority Socialists or Reichstag 
majority. It is our opinion, too, that negotiations must be held 
only between governments, and preferably at some point at the 
front. On the other hand, Bolsheviks have already been in- 
fluenced towards direct negotiations over the head of German 
government by Goldberg's offer. It is therefore desirable that 
Scheidemann be persuaded, not only not to strengthen this 



102 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

inclination, but even, as far as possible, to cure them of their 
idea and to advise them to open negotiations with government 
quickly. Please therefore seize him immediately on arrival and, 
before he talks with Bolsheviks, try to convince him of this view, 
using approximately the following arguments : 

i. The Bolsheviks have issued calls to governments and 
peoples. Moreover, they have already exchanged telegrams and 
conducted armistice negotiations with the German government 
and, according to statements in the press, they have expressed 
satisfaction with these negotiations. They have therefore no 
reason to by-pass government. 

2. Going over the head of the government would be con- 
sidered unconstitutional here and would not only cause trouble 
in the government and in the country generally, which might 
make peace with Russia more difficult to achieve, delay it, or 
even actually endanger it, but would also lower the reputation 
of the government in foreign eyes, or at least in the eyes of the 
Entente. Since government stands by principles of Reichstag 
resolution and of answer to Pope's peace note, 1 and since peace 
treaty would anyway only be valid after ratification by Reich- 
stag, there is no reason to distrust or by-pass the latter body 
either. 

Scheidemann would therefore best contribute to quick con- 
clusion of peace by instilling as much confidence in the govern- 
ment as possible into Bolsheviks, and by persuading them to 
open negotiations soon. 

Please therefore draw his attention to the fact that departure 
from normal channels, or delay, would result in danger of con- 
ference with minority Social Democrats, which some people are 
apparently trying to organize, actually taking place. 

Legation in Copenhagen 2 has been instructed to find out day 
of his arrival in Stockholm and inform you by telegram. Lede- 
bour and Kautzky,^ who also wanted to travel to Stockholm, 
are being kept here, and Goldberg and Wucherpfennig are also 
staying here for the moment. Report by telegram. 

Kuhlmann 

1 The Reichstag resolution of the majority parties is discussed in Erzberger, op. 
cit., pp. 265-9, and the Pope's peace note, pp. 269-87. For the Reichstag resolution 
cf. Scheidemann, op. cit., volume 2, pp. 359-69. 

2 The Legation in Copenhagen was sent the same telegram under No. 933, 
with the request to inform the Legation in Stockholm of Scheidemann's arrival 
(WK 2 seer, volume 53) . 

3 Scheidemann was a member of the majority Social Democrat Party, Kautzky 
and Ledebour led the Socialist faction, the Independent Social Democrat Party. 



1^ UJLU£.M.tSJiK. 1L)1/ »"0 

103 

The Minister in Stockholm to the Foreign Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. 201 I 

A 41669 12 December 191 7, 1.45 p.m. 

Received: 12 December, 7.52 p.m. 

In reply to telegram No. 1 684. 1 

Commission completed. Vorovski passed the message imme- 
diately to Petrograd, but as he has not yet received any code, 
the time of the arrival of his reports is uncertain, if reply [one 
group garbled] arrives I recommend therefore the same treatment 
at armistice negotiations. Riezler. j ncrus 

1 See document No. ioo, footnote i. 

104 

The Under State Secretary to the Liaison Officer at the 
Imperial Court 

TELEGRAM NO. I986 

A 4I553 Berlin, 13 December 191 7 

In answer to instructions from this office to recommend to the 
Swedish government that it recognize the representative of the 
Bolsheviks and thus strengthen the Bolshevik government, 1 
the Imperial Minister in Stockholm telegraphed as follows 
on 11 December: 2 

'The Minister of Foreign Affairs is quite prepared to receive 
Vorovski and to discuss current business with him. I have let 
the latter know this. The Minister said that recognition had 
really already been made to the Bolshevik government in 
Petrograd by General Brandstroem, in that the Minister there 
had courteously acknowledged the Russian note and was 
actually conducting current business with the government 
through Legation officials. A formal recognition of the new 
Russian Minister in Stockholm, who, even in today's interview 
with Dagens Nyheter, merely described himself as "the Commissar 



104 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

of the Bolshevik government", could hardly be made until the 
Constituent Assembly had confirmed the position of the present 
government.' 

The Minister entirely shared Your Excellency's view that the 
government's position would be strengthened by recognition, 
and he finally seemed quite prepared to recognize Vorovski as 
Minister. „ 

BUSSGHE 

1 Document No. 101. 

2 A 4'553 i n Russland Nr. 6i, volume 137. Telegram No. 2000. 



105 

The Deputy State Secretary to the Minister in Stockholm 

TELEGRAM NO. I 7 I 7 

A 41678 Berlin, 13 December 1917 

In answer to telegram No. 201 1. 1 

For Riezler. Minister in Copenhagen reports 2 that he has heard 
from a reliable source that Vorovski has written to his con- 
fidential agent in Copenhagen, saying that it was desirable that 
the negotiations should be moved from the front on to neutral 
territory (possibly Stockholm). To justify this, Vorovski had 
stated that from neutral territory it would be easier to induce the 
Entente countries to participate in the negotiations and thus to 
create a bridge from separate negotiations to general ones. 
Vorovski had also said that Lenin and Trotsky wanted the 
negotiations to be conducted by parliamentarians, as this would 
eliminate the pressures exerted by the armies. 

I repeat that, from our point of view, negotiations for a preli- 
minary peace on neutral territory are most undesirable and 
should be avoided if at all possible. The same goes for an inter- 
parliamentary conference. According to reports received here 
from our representative at Eastern Command (Oberost), the 
Russian delegates also prefer a place at the front for negotiations, 
and have not expressed any wish to have parliamentarians 
taking part. „ 

BUSSGHE 

1 Document No. 103. 

2 Telegram No. 1450 of 12 December 1917 (A41678 in WK 2 seer, volume 53). 



15 DECEMBER I 9 I 7 105 

106 

The Minister in Stockholm to the Foreign Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. 2036 

A 42010 15 December 1917, 12.30 a.m. 

Received: 15 December, 11.35 a>m - 

In answer to telegram No. 1717. 

It is true that Vorovski would like negotiations held in Stock- 
holm, and also that he has told friends that the differences 
between the Reichstag and the Army Command should be ex- 
ploited. Parvus, who wants to play his part, is also working for 
the choice of Stockholm. I have made the most strenuous efforts 
to counter both plans. Vorovski assures me that he has informed 
Trotsky of my objections. In a discussion lasting several hours, 
I have just explained to Vorovski in forceful terms that Stock- 
holm would be a most unsuitable choice, and why. In addition, 
I warned him emphatically against trying any experiments with 
internal German affairs, telling him that no German party would 
countenance any such experiment in face of official opinion. 
I said that the .opponents of the Bolsheviks were pressing the 
German government not to conclude peace with them, as their 
successors would also have to make peace, but rather to uproot 
the Bolsheviks in Russia by declaring them incompetent to con- 
duct negotiations. The German government rejected these sug- 
gestions, but it could not expose itself to the risk of conducting 
negotiations under virtually hopeless conditions. Vorovski ad- 
mitted that a German refusal might cause the fall of the Bolshe- 
viks and only requested that consideration should be given in 
Berlin to the fact that the Bolsheviks were obliged to stage the 
negotiations under democratic forms of control and to assure 
the possibility of immediate publication of results, and that, in 
addition, they must leave open the possibility of Allied partici- 
pation. No attempt would be made to influence the composition 
of the German delegation. After repeated questions, he admitted 
that he had no detailed instructions from Petrograd as to the 
views of the men there regarding the form the negotiations 
should adopt and the course they should take. It seems clear to 
me that his wishes express the feelings of Parvus and Goldberg 
rather than those of his government, and that, if no other way 
is possible, Trotsky in particular will agree to negotiate in Brest, 



lob GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

as long as at least the external features of Bolshevik negotiating 
methods, which are imperative for him too, are preserved. 
Vorovski admitted that my arguments were justified, even 
though he will not entirely rid himself of Goldberg's idea of 
broad negotiations between peoples, which he thinks would 
result in more acceptable demands. He is sending another re- 
port to Petrograd and a direct courier is also on his way there 
with a serious and forthright report for Trotsky. Riezler. 

Lucius 



107 

The Liaison Officer at General Headquarters to the 
Foreign Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. 1895 

AS 4897 16 December, 1917, 9.15 a.m. 

Received: 16 December, 9.50 a.m. 

The matter 1 is settled, in so far as, following the sessions of 6 and 
7 December in Berlin, General Ludendorff has given Eastern 
Command the following principles for peace discussions : 

'1. No interference in Russian affairs. 

'2. No war reparations in money, but only financial com- 
pensation for the maintenance of prisoners of war, whose total 
far exceeds 1 million. German annexation of Lithuania and 
Gourland (including Riga and the islands) , since we need more 
land in order to feed the nation. We intend to respect the 
nationalist demands of the Lithuanians and the Courlanders to 
a considerable extent in the terms of the annexation. This is 
conditional on the English not occupying the Aaland Isles, Fin- 
land, Estonia, or Livonia. 

'3. Exchange of prisoners of war, while recognizing that their 
work is essential to Germany until general peace. Exchange of 
civilian prisoners. 

'4. Polish independence and the association of Poland with the 
Central Powers. Settlement of the eastern frontiers of Poland, 
including the return of the occupied territories to Russia. 

'5. Recognition of the right of peoples to self-determination. 
Russian evacuation of Finland, Estonia, Livonia, the Moldava, 
Eastern Galicia, and Armenia. 



l6 DECEMBER I g I 7 107 

'6. The offer of our good services in the settlement of the ques- 
tion of the Dardanelles and of other problems outside Europe. 

'7. Reorganization of the Russian system of communications 
with German help. Financial support for Russian reconstruction 
and close economic relations. Settlement of commercial rela- 
tions. Delivery of cereals, oil, &c, to Germany at favourable 
prices. 

'8. The legal rights of the nationals of either party in the terri- 
tory of the other shall be restored. Losses of private property, 
where those suffering were not responsible, shall be made good. 

'9. In case the Russian representatives should express a fear of 
Japanese intervention against Russia, a guarantee that Ger- 
many will not attack Russia from behind if she has to defend 
herself against Japan. 

'10. We are prepared to enter into an alliance with Russia at 

a later date.' _ 

Lersner 

1 i.e. agreement between the military and the Foreign Ministry on preliminary 
conditions for peace negotiations between Germany and Russia. 



108 

The Under State Secretary to the Minister in Copenhagen 

TELEGRAM NO. 956 

AS 4929 Berlin, 17 December 191 7 

Parvus should come here as soon as possible and on his way here 
he should call on Your Excellency. 1 Please ask him urgently to 
help to promote the peace negotiations, which begin in a few 
days, by influencing his friends. The Bolsheviks are fighting, 
according to reliable reports, against growing internal diffi- 
culties and therefore have every interest in strengthening their 

position by an early peace. „ 

r ' ' r Bussghe 

1 On the same day, Bussche sent a telegram (No. 1736, AS 4929 in WK 2 seer, 
volume 54) to Stockholm requesting the Minister there to ask Helphand to go to 
Copenhagen and then to Berlin. 



108 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

109 

The Minister in Stockholm to the Foreign Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. 2065 

as 5008 18 December 191 7, 7.15 p.m. 

Received: 18 December, 9.55 p.m. 

Parvus would like, unless the matter is urgent, to stay here over 
Christmas, because of talks with Radek and Fiirstenberg, who 
will be returning from Petrograd. Please telegraph instructions. 

Riezler. T 

Lucius 



110 

The Under State Secretary to the Minister in Stockholm 

TELEGRAM NO. I75O 

AS 5008 Berlin, 19 December 191 7 

In reply to telegram No. 2065. 

For Riezler. It seems to me expedient to keep Parvus away 
from Stockholm because of the negotiations for the preliminary 
peace, which begin in the next few days. Please ask him once 
more to come here via Copenhagen. „ 

r & BUSSGHE 

111 

The Counsellor of Legation in Stockholm to Minister 

Bergen 
AS 5133 24 December 191 7 

Dear Herr von Bergen, 

After having been unable to get a ticket for several days, 
Parvus is now leaving today. I enclose a memorandum about 
the part he has been playing recently. 






24 DECEMBER I 9 I 7 109 

At this moment, when his interests and ours are running 
parallel again, he is once more very important, and I would 
strongly recommend you to ask him, in confidence and quite 
intimately, for his advice in Berlin, especially on the Rumanian 
question (Rakovsky's future role, &c). He really is a very con- 
siderable man and he has excellent ideas. It may well be that 
we shall soon feel that it would be an advantage to base our 
position in Russia on wider circles than those around Lenin, and 
in that event he will be essential to us. 

He must not be allowed to suspect that we simply wanted to 
get him away from here. 

I have nothing against his return, especially if things go well 
at Brest. However, I think that we could now use him better 
somewhere else, as Stockholm will soon cease to be of any im- 
portance as regards Russia because of the poor communica- 
tions with Petrograd — that is, if nothing goes wrong at Brest. 
Let us hope that all goes well. It is difficult to judge from here, 
as the Radeks, &c, are apparently spinning some international 
revolutionary web of their own. 

Best wishes and a happy Christmas. v „ 

Riezler 

Enclosure: Secret Memorandum 

When he arrived here in the middle of November, Parvus at 
first certainly believed in the possibility and the usefulness of a 
Socialist conference. The Danish offer to convene such a confer- 
ence, which has in the meanwhile shown no results and been for- 
gotten, must be seen as the product of his efforts, and the same 
is true of the original co-operative attitude of the German Social 
Democrats towards the idea of a conference. The various aspects 
of his activities here were not really all very clear. Apart from 
his wish for a Socialist conference, he also hoped that the 
negotiations would move here or to Copenhagen, so that he 
could use his influence to control them on both sides. How far 
his influence over the Russian Socialists extends is not clear. He 
himself waited anxiously for news on this subject at first, and he 
now believes that Trotsky is openly and actively against him 
and Lenin neutral, but that the minor spirits are on his side. 
His assumption about Trotsky is certainly right, but Lenin may 
well also be against him, and he may have overestimated his 
influence on the others, just as he overestimated Vorovski's and 
Radek's confidence in him. He says that neither of these two 
makes a move without his knowledge. I have found out quite 



110 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

definitely that he is totally mistaken in this supposition. Vorovski 
is extremely suspicious of him and says that nobody really trusts 
him. Dr. Helphand is now working to strengthen his position 
in Russia, with the help of the 'Under-officers', in spite of Lenin 
and Trotsky and even against them if necessary. In these cir- 
cumstances and while preserving a relationship of confidence 
with him in every way, I have had to eliminate him from all 
questions concerned with methods for negotiation. 

In all other questions, where his interests run parallel with 
ours, he is extremely valuable by virtue of his great practical 
political abilities, his exceptional knowledge of revolutionary 
Russia and his strength of personality. His advice and help can 
be of quite extraordinary value. 



112 

Report from Herr Masse 

AS 5184 Berlin, 26 December 191 7 

There is no doubt that there is a strong movement in the present 
Russian government which is working to prevent the peace 
negotiations which have already begun from coming to an end 
too quickly. One important reason for this is the wish not to 
antagonize the Entente too far; the other is the still existing 
hope that a revolution will break out in Germany, which would 
put the whole peace question on a different, and, for the Bol- 
sheviks, far more advantageous basis. 

The wish to maintain fairly good relations with the Entente 
has grown stronger lately for several reasons ; its great influence, 
especially among the Russian bourgeoisie, and partly also 
among the right-wing Socialists is directed, in the last analysis, 
towards the frustration of the separate peace, and perhaps still 
more towards the destruction of German- Russian trade. 

It must be continually pointed out to the Russians that in 
this respect, also, the Entente is pursuing selfish ends ; only Ger- 
many — because of her geographical position — is capable of 
assisting Russia to restore her economy quickly and effectively. 

Furthermore, the Russian government should be made to 
realize that it would only harm itself by vaccilation and long- 
drawn-out negotiations, as all the above-mentioned endeavours 
of the Entente would have to take place parallel to the restora- 



26 DECEMBER I 9 I 7 "I 

tion of a bourgeois government. At any rate, the Bolshevik 
government realizes that the Kadets and the right-wing 
Socialists are working hard against them in secret ; Radek told 
my confidential agent in Stockholm that they knew all about 
these activities and that when the moment came they would not 
hesitate to take firm measures ; they would not suffer from the 
weaknesses of a Kerenski. The government was not entirely 
blind to the fact that in spite of its good police organization and 
its firm will to suppress counter-revolution, such movements can 
be highly injurious to it, especially while the government is not 
completely secure from the outside. 

The second factor which makes for procrastination is the hope 
of an early revolution in Germany. How far the Bolshevik leaders 
in fact believe in this is difficult to tell; certain contemptuous 
remarks of Radek's about the German Independents, may 
justify the conclusion that he himself does not rely on them to 
any great extent. But even here the wish may be father to the 
thought : one must not forget the fact that the Bolsheviks have 
often declared that peace is their aim; not, however, peace 
achieved through negotiations with bourgeois governments, but 
through a kindling of revolution in our country as well, which 
would naturally lead to peace. According to my information 
the Independents have succeeded in sending a message to 
Stockholm urging that the peace negotiations, which would 
have a destructive effect on their hopes of a revolution should 
be abandoned; and if Radek and his friends interpret this 
attempt as sign of our weakness one cannot tell what kind of 
effect it may have on the decisions of the Russian government. 

Naturally, I took pains to make it clear to my confidential 
agent that he should use his influence as far as this point was 
concerned, not only to represent these attempts of the Indepen- 
dents as harmful to the real interests of the government in 
Petrograd, but also to make it clear that, according to his know- 
ledge, the situation in Germany does not warrant any hope of 
an early revolution. 

Radek told my confidential agent that Germany was pressing 
for peace for two reasons : Germany wanted to launch a great 
offensive in the West in February 191 8 and to have her rear free 
once and for all; but the main reason was that the water was 
already up to her neck. This became clear not only from the fact 
that the Central Powers negotiated so willingly with the 
revolutionary Bolshevik government, but also from the manner 
in which they joined the negotiations. Members of the Foreign 



\ 



112 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

Ministry arrived at Brest-Litovsk in large numbers; from this 
the Bolsheviks could draw valuable conclusions. The Austrians 
in particular were so charming, so polite, and so anxious to 
oblige that they obviously made their German friends appre- 
hensive. Behind every Austrian a Prussian planted himself, to 
make sure that their Allies did not go too far in their offers and 
promises. 

Russian attempts, which are now recurring, to transfer the 
negotiations from Brest-Litovsk to a neutral country should be 
traced mainly to the influence of Radek and his friends, who 
may be pursuing a twofold aim. On the one hand, they hope 
that, if Stockholm, for instance, were chosen, they might gain 
greater influence, because then those men who for many months 
had been the representatives of the Bolsheviks in Stockholm 
would play a more important role in the negotiations. On the 
other hand, they perhaps hope for longer negotiations ; in Stock- 
holm the influence of the revolutionary Social Democracy, 
especially of the German group, would be more powerfully felt 
than in Petrograd, not to mention Brest-Litovsk. It is worth 
mentioning in this connexion that Radek's interest in the out- 
break of the revolution is of an entirely different sort from that of 
Lenin and Trotsky. 

It is interesting to note the following remark that Radek 
made : he said that he knew what the Lithuanian delegation in 
Berlin was promised, not by the Foreign Ministry, but by a 
general, who read to the delegation a telegram from Hindenburg 
agreeing to their independence but stipulating a common army 
and railway. 1 

1 Bergen's marginal note: 'For the Under State Secretary; a report from Herr 
Nasse. I have sent a copy to Rosenberg.' Rosenberg was at Brest-Litovsk at the time. 



113 

The Deputy State Secretary to the Minister in Stockholm 

TELEGRAM NO. 20 

A 432 Berlin, 4 January 19 18 

For Riezler. 

The latest publications of the Petersburg Telegraph Agency 
make it necessary to have serious words with Vorovski. They 
contain appeals to our nation, which include revolutionary 



4 JANUARY igi8 113 

matter, and calls to our soldiers to disobey orders and lay down 
their arms. This we must regard as improper and intolerable 
interference in our internal affairs. At the same time, libels are 
being published about us. We are portrayed as slave-drivers and 
oppressors of the workers. It is claimed that we put the workers' 
leaders into German concentration camps and that we appease 
the hunger of women and old men with lead and gunpowder. 
These lies apparently emanate from the Austrian Radek. It is 
surely impossible, in the long run, for a government which is en- 
gaged in peace negotiations with us, to use this kind of language 
about us in its publications, for these publications ultimately 
force one to doubt whether the Bolshevik government is serious 
in its wish to reach an understanding with us. 

Instead of securing peace for Russia, and, with it, the neces- 
sary conditions for further development, their procrastination of 
the peace settlement is simply playing into the hands of the 
Entente, and they are doing harm to their own country by 
wasting valuable time in fruitless revolutionary agitation. 1 

BUSSGHE 

1 The same text was dispatched to Rosenberg at Brest-Litovsk as telegram No. 
18 (Russland Nr. 61, volume 139). 



114 

The Deputy State Secretary to the Foreign Ministry 
Representative at Eastern Command 

TELEGRAM NO. I 14 

AS 89 Berlin, 9 January 1 91 8 

For the State Secretary at Brest-Litovsk. 

The Imperial Minister in Copenhagen has informed us of the 
contents of a letter from a Russian Social Revolutionary who is 
close to Chernov, to his friend in Copenhagen. This letter 
said that the Bolsheviks were now isolated, both morally and 
politically. The whole economic system and the Russian state 
were completely disorganized. The Bolsheviks would no more 
be able to maintain their power if they concluded peace, than if 
they failed to do so. The forces on which they were depending 
consisted only of a few hundred thousand soldiers. Moreover, 

B G70S I 



114 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

the Bolsheviks had no followers among the intellectuals or 
among the democratic parties. Lenin had tried to bring about 
a unification at the last moment, by taking up the sixty-year-old 
agrarian programme of the Social Revolutionaries. The Social 
Revolutionaries, however, had remained true to their old prin- 
ciples and were now convinced that social reforms in all aspects 
of the Russian system could not be imposed by acts of violence. 
For this reason, the Social Revolutionaries would openly oppose 
the Bolsheviks, as soon as they were morally and physically 
capable of doing so. 

Russia could only be saved by the Constituent Assembly, 
and a conflict of considerable violence would break out on the 
subject of this very Assembly. The intellectuals, the Social 
Revolutionaries and even some of the soldiers would stop at 
nothing in this conflict, and even the troops, or rather the 
socially conscious nucleus of the troops would abandon Lenin. 

People who had languished for thirty to forty years in Russian 
prisons or in Siberia had once again been thrown into jail by 
the Bolsheviks because of their political convictions. Even mem- 
bers of the Constituent Assembly which has now been elected, 
who, of course, are supposed to enjoy immunity, were lying in 
prison. The laws had been declared invalid and there was no 
legal code at all in Russia. Tribunals consisting of Bolsheviks 
were functioning as courts of law. The entire press was under 
pressure. Those newspapers that still appeared were censored 
before publication, and even the organs of the extreme left were 
being gagged in this way. Newspapers were simply closed down 
and their types, their paper, and their capital confiscated. 

Chernov held exactly the same view and stood in the centre 
of the movement which wanted to oppose the Bolsheviks. The 
next task for the Social Revolutionary party, and indeed for all 
Russians except the Bolsheviks, would be to hold organized 
meetings of soldiers, and this was already being done where 
possible. In addition, special newspapers, leaflets, and weekly 
bulletins were to be published. 

All Russia was following the course of the negotiations at 
Brest- Litovsk with fevered interest, but there was no agreement 
with the leadership. The German interpretation of the formula 
'Peace without annexations or reparations' was unacceptable to 
all the non-Leninist elements in Russia, for the thinking Demo- 
crats, i.e. the Democrats of the future, read an undertone of 
dictation to a defeated Russia into the negotiations. 

The organization of plebiscites in the occupied territories was 



9 JANUARY igi8 H5 

regarded as part of the internal affairs of Russia, not of Ger- 
many. The Russians had the impression that the delegations 
from Lithuania, the Baltic, &c, were simply carrying out 
orders. 

The conclusion of a peace such as the one now threatening 
could set only one aim for all Russian Democrats, namely 
mobilization, for Russia could not exist without the Baltic pro- 
vinces. The Baits themselves also wanted to remain Russian, 
and the 9 per cent, of Germans could play no decisive role in 
this matter. 

A democratic peace need not be concluded by Lenin alone ; 
it could alternatively be concluded by him (i.e. by Lenin as the 
embodiment of Socialist demagogy) in collaboration with the 
Democratic element. 

If the German people really wanted to adopt a brotherly atti- 
tude towards the Russian people, then it would have to abandon 
all ideas of diplomatic self-interest and conclude an honest 
peace. Otherwise Russia would be forced to remobilize, and in 
thirty years there would be another war. 

The senior Social Revolutionary in question believes that the 
Germans in no way agree with his views because he is not on the 
side of the Bolsheviks. He therefore thinks that, for the moment, 
there is nothing that he can do which would at one and the 
same time reflect the wishes of the Germans and his own. 

Should we share his views, then this Social Revolutionary 
would perhaps be prepared to make an active attempt to bring 
our mutual aims nearer fulfilment. In his opinion, the Bolsheviks 
would fall at the first shock, and he would not require large 
funds to bring this about. 

In connexion with this man's remarks, it should be noted that 
Chernov has lost much of his influence since the rise of the left 
wing of the Social Revolutionaries under Spiridonova. If Your 
Excellency approves, I intend to tell him that, at the moment, 
we are unfortunately not in a position to take up relations with 
other Russian parties, as we are engaged in negotiations with 
the Bolsheviks. Please inform me of your views by telegram. 1 

BUSSGHE 

1 Reply from the State Secretary: 'I agree. Kuhlmann. (A 5133 in WK 2 seer, 
volume 56. Telegram No. 74 of 10 January 1918.) 



n6 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

115 

The Minister in Copenhagen to the Foreign Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. 37 

A 1512 11 January 1918, 12.30 a.m. 

Received: 11 January, 5.18 a.m. 

A telegram from the Danish Minister in Petrograd, in approxi- 
mately the following terms, arrived here today : 

On Monday the English Ambassador left, saying that his 
mind had ceased to function properly and that he was a com- 
pletely broken man. 

The rumours of the departure of the French Ambassador are, 
to say the least, premature. However, it is true that a conflict 
has arisen between the representatives of France and the Bol- 
sheviks. A young French officer spread the rumour that the 
Germans had demanded the surrender of the Black Sea fleet, 
and this report caused great excitement. The French Ambas- 
sador has stated that the officer would be relieved of his post. 

Differences have also arisen with the Rumanian representa- 
tives. Trotsky is complaining of the strict measures taken by the 
Rumanian government against Bolshevik propaganda. 

The representatives of Germany and Austria are being closely 
watched. They may only move in the streets if accompanied by 
soldiers, and their correspondence is censored. 1 The real reason 
for this probably lies in Trotsky's fear that the German re- 
presentatives might make contact with anti-revolutionary circles 
here — and the sympathies of these circles definitely lie on the 
side of the Germans. 

There is little intention to reach any positive results in the 
Austro-German commission. The negotiations have adopted the 
form of meetings in which all sorts of matters are debated. 2 

Brogkdorff-Rantzau 

1 The German economic and naval missions arrived in Petrograd on 29 Decem- 
ber 1 91 7, headed by Mirbach and Rear Admiral Keyserling. At Brest-Li tovsk the 
Russian delegates stressed the humanitarian function of the mission : it was to dis- 
cuss and settle the question of interned civil prisoners, the exchange of disabled 
prisoners of war and similar problems. 

The activities of the mission remained within the limits agreed upon at Brest- 
Litovsk. (The relevant documents can be found in the series Russland Politisches 
Nr. 1 a.) From time to time Mirbach reported on the desolation of the Russian 
capital and predicted an early fall of the Bolshevik government. The missions left 
Petrograd on 18 February and on 23 February Mirbach and Keyserling reported 



I I JANUARY I gi 8 117 

to the Kaiser at General Headquarters. Mirbach returned to Russia as the German 
Minister at the end of April. He presented his credentials to Sverdlov on 26 April. 
2 The Kaiser's marginal remark : 'That is the passion of the Russians ! Energetic 
measures will have to be taken and la duce violence exercised' [sic] . (The Kaiser prob- 
ably meant : la douce violence.) 



116 

The Foreign Ministry Representative in Petrograd to the 

Chancellor 

REPORT NO. 26 

A 4166 Petrograd, 24 January 1918 

An identical report has been sent to the State Secretary. 

Judging by purely external signs, the power of the Bolsheviks 
seems to have secured itself to some extent during the last few 
days. Whether or how long this positive trend will last remains 
to be seen. Since political life here moves entirely in convulsive 
spasms, one must always be prepared to reckon with very brief 
stages. 

For the moment, however, the big planned coups of the 
Smolny government have been successful. Since it depended on 
the support of the Red Guard and of marines — rather than on 
the army proper — and thus had control of the streets, it was not 
very difficult for the government to send the Constituent 
Assembly, whose opening looks more and more like a farce, 
home after little more than twenty-four hours and, in place of 
this unacceptable body, to summon the Convention, which 
supports the government unconditionally. 

In all other fields, too, the government is following the well- 
tried formula: 'If you won't be my brother I'll beat your brains 
in.' The press could hardly be more completely gagged. With 
the exception of the party organs Pravda and Izvestia, all the 
newspapers are strictly censored and, if necessary, severely pun- 
ished.* Political opponents, too, enjoy short shrift. Politicians, 
deputies, editors, and other such members of the opposition live 
under a continual threat to their liberty, if not worse. Those 
arrested last week include Shamanski, the president of the Red 
Cross. There is no means of knowing how many other people 
may have shared this fate, as only very few cases are admitted 



Ii8 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

publicly and the government presumably 'works' mainly in 
secret. 

The great sensation of the last few days was the murder of the 
ex-Ministers Shingarev and Kokoshkin. Because of their poor 
state of health, these two men had been taken from the Fortress 
of SS. Peter and Paul to a hospital, where they were shot by 
marines on the night after their admission. Kokoshkin was shot 
dead, but Shingarev only died after several hours suffering. 
At first sight, the crime bore all the marks of a simple political 
murder, but the governing clique denies any complicity, claim- 
ing that, on the contrary, the murder was contrived by the 
opposition in order to secure for themselves a weapon against 
the Bolsheviks. Mirbach 

1 The Kaiser's marginal remark: 'We shall have to do the same with our gutter- 
press.' 



117 

The Deputy State Secretary to the Foreign Ministry 
Representative at Eastern Command 

TELEGRAM NO. 478 

Berlin, 2 February 191 8 

Dr. Helphand, who spoke here at discussions about the situation 
inside Russia, is of the opinion that our relations with the Bol- 
sheviks must be handled with the greatest care. He believes that 
the Bolsheviks' ideas will spread still further in Russia and that 
the [Ukrainian] Rada will not last much longer. 

He said that nobody would be able to drive out the Bol- 
sheviks, now that they had occupied the Donetz basin and 
Kharkov, the centre of the industrial Ukraine, except with the 
help of German troops. 

Helphand still thinks that there is a possibility of the Bol- 
sheviks forming a coalition with the left wing of the Social 
Revolutionary party. Bussche 



7 MARCH 1918 119 

118 

The Deputy State Secretary to the State Secretary {in 
Bucharest) 

TELEGRAM NO. 99 

AS I202 Berlin, 7 March 19 18 

Count Roedern wishes to garnish his latest credit demands, 
which he will be presenting to the Reichstag next week, with a 
few comments on foreign policy in order to enliven the atmo- 
sphere a little, and would be grateful to Your Excellency for 
some suitable hints. Would you please give me the necessary 
instructions? Bussche 



119 

The State Secretary to the Foreign Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. 88 

AS 1 26 1 Bucharest, n March 191 8, 11.45 a - m - 

Received: 11 March, 12.45 P- m - 

In answer to telegram No. 99. 

The overall situation is so uncertain that I should advise against 
making any comments on foreign policy, if not absolutely neces- 
sary. In view of the latest reports from Russia, and of the 
opposition to the ratification of our treaties which exists there, 
I would especially recommend moderation in the evaluation of 
the positive results achieved at Brest. One could probably say 
that the Eastern sky was beginning to lighten, but it would per- 
haps be better not, as yet, to assume that the transition from war 
on two fronts to war on a single front is definitely assured. 

Kuhlmann 



120 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

120 

The Minister in Moscow to the Chancellor 

REPORT NO. 9 

A 19757 3° A P ril i9 J 8 

In the hands of the Bolsheviks, Moscow, the sacred city, the 
embodiment of the power of the Tsars, the high place of the 
Orthodox Church, represents what is perhaps the most glaring 
destruction of taste and style that has resulted from the Russian 
revolution. 1 Any one who knew the capital in the days of its 
glory would hardly be able to recognize it now. In every part 
of the city, and especially in the central commercial quarter, 
countless bullet-holes in walls and windows are evidence of the 
bitter battles which were fought for its possession. The great 
Hotel Metropol has been wrecked by artillery fire, and even the 
Kremlin has suffered terribly. Various of its gates are badly 
damaged; the Iberian Gate has been partly destroyed and is 
now only boarded up. 

There is seething activity in the streets, but they seem to be 
exclusively populated by the proletariat. Hardly any better- 
dressed people are to be seen — as if the whole of the previous 
governing class and the bourgeoisie had disappeared from the 
face of the earth. This may be partly connected with the fact 
that most of them are trying to conform externally with the 
scene that has been set in the streets, so as not to inflame the lust 
for loot and the unpredictable temper of the class which now 
rules the city. The Orthodox priests, who used to form a con- 
siderable part of the public in the streets, have also disappeared 
from the scene. Hardly anything can be bought in the shops 
except dusty remnants of past splendour, and these only at 
fantastic prices. The hallmarks of the whole picture are general 
unwillingness to work and aimless loafing. 2 As the factories 
are still at a standstill and the land is still, to all intents and 
purposes, not being cultivated — at least this was the impression 
that I got on my journey — Russia seems to be heading for an 
even worse catastrophe than that already produced by the 
revolution. 

Public safety leaves much to be desired, but one can now 
move about freely and alone by day. However, it is unwise to 
go out towards evening, and at that time of day one often hears 



30 APRIL igi8 121 

rifle fire and more or less serious skirmishes seem to take place 
continually. 

The old property-owning class is in a state of profoundest 
misery; it needs only a government order to strip them of all 
their possessions. Thus the ominous requisition order, which 
drives the owners on to the street, often at only a few hours' 
notice, can be seen hanging on almost all the palaces and the 
larger private houses. • 

The despair of the old governing classes is boundless, but they 
can no longer raise sufficient strengths to put an end to the 
organized lotting which is now prevalent. The cry for organized 
conditions reaches down to the lowest strata of the people, and 
the feeling of their own impotence makes them hope for salva- 
tion from Germany. 4 The very circles who were inveighing 
loudest against us before, now see us, if not as the Angel, then 
at least as the Police Constable of Salvation. 

The rise in the price of food has been considerable, but as the 
pockets of the lower classes are stuffed with the billions of 
roubles printed by Kerenski, it is only the old property-owners 
who are living in misery. The eight-hour working-day has been 
generally introduced, and the minimum wages for domestic ser- 
vants have been fixed at 200 roubles a month plus free board 
and lodging. : 

The supremacy of the Bolsheviks in Moscow is principally up- 
held by the Livonian battalions, and then also by the large num- 
ber of motor vehicles requisitioned by the government, which 
rush continually around the town and can bring troops to 
danger-spots as required. 

It is impossible to see where these conditions will lead; for the 
moment one can only say that they bid fair to remain much the 
same. 

MlRBAGH 

1 The Kaiser's marginal remark: 'This is not our concern; the world war lacks in 
style as well.' 

2 The Kaiser's marginal remark: 'The hall-mark of the "Social state of the 
future".' 

3 The Kaiser's marginal remark: 'This will have to come from the outside.' 

4 The Kaiser's marginal remark: 'Either England and America or we (indirectly 
through Russian generals).' 



122 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

121 

The Liaison Officer at General Headquarters to the 
Foreign Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. IO34 

A 19341 . 6 Ma y J 9 l8 > 9-3° P- m - 

Received: 6 May, 10.30 p.m. 

Eastern Command has sent the following telegram to High 
Command of the Army : 

'A.O.K. 8 has telegraphed as follows: 

Captain von Milinsky of the War Ministry, who is at the 
moment in Petrograd, instructed a courier who returned from 
Petrograd on 1 May (Lt. Brussatis) to tell the German Army 
Command the following: 

"The Maximalist government was to be overthrown by the 
Minimalists, on the instigation and with the financial support of 
the French, the English, and the Americans. The appointed 
date, 1 May, had to be postponed because the organization was 
incomplete. The dictators of the Minimalist government were 
to be Chernov, General Schwarz, Kriwotshein, and Gavenko 
[sic] and also, supposedly, Kerenski in Petrograd. After the vic- 
tory of the counter-revolution, an army of 30,000 to 50,000 men 
was to attack the German troops in Finland or Estonia, in order 
to ease the burden on the French front. The Maximalists were 
warned of the imminent counter-revolution by Monarchists and 
the Soviet government arranged for the arrest of the Minimalist 
dictators. A French firm is evacuating large quantities of metal, 
crude rubber, and motor tyres from Petrograd. German dele- 
gates were not able to seize this opportunity, as they had no 
authority to buy. Large and favourable offers were made to 
them." 

'To make Lt. B[russatis]'s journey possible, a Russian officer, 
Georg, a delegate of Major-General Shulgin, accompanied 
him. Georg is at the disposal of the German government until 
8 May for any commissions that may be required.' 

Berckheim 



8 MAY igi8 123 

122 

The Liaison Officer at General Headquarters to the 
Foreign Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. IO47 

A 19596 8 May 1918, 12 noon. 

Received: 8 May, 1.40 p.m. 

General Ludendorff would be grateful for information about 
Count Mirbach's reports on the internal political situation in 
Russia. The General thinks that it is not impossible that a 
government hostile to us might take over the helm and considers 
it advisable to prepare for this possibility by helping circles 
acceptable to us to take over the reins of government. 

Berckheim 

123 

The Minister in Moscow to the Foreign Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. 78 

A 19966 10 May 1918, 11.59 p.m. 

Received: n May, 2.10 a.m. 

I have heard from a good but not yet fully proven source that 
the representatives of the Entente countries here, under the 
chairmanship of Francis, yesterday approved an ultimatum to 
the Soviet Government, which they delivered today and in 
which the Entente solemnly offered to continue even now to 
support Russia with food, arms, and raw materials for its fight 
against Germany and held out hopes of the recognition of the 
Soviet government by the Entente in the event of general 
mobilization. Karachan and Radek did not tell me of this event, 
perhaps because the official reaction was not to be discussed until 
this evening. The conduct of the affairs of the Entente has been 
entirely transferred from Vologda on to the shoulders of the 
representatives here, who now receive instructions direct from 
their governments. The more prudent of the Bolshevik leaders 
are still trying to calm those elements which are incensed about 



124 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

the advance in the South and the restoration in the Ukraine. 
However, in view of the enormous worries of the Bolshevik 
government and its perplexity about the developments in the 
South, it is not impossible that there may be surprises. 

I heard, after the event, that the Entente had this evening 
made further urgent approaches to Sverdlov with important 
offers to organize the transport of food from Siberia, and that 
the non-Bolshevik Socialist parties, also this evening and in line 
with the steps taken by the Entente, had offered to let bygones 
be bygones and to co-operate with the Bolsheviks for the salva- 
tion of Russia. I am continuing with my secret efforts to ensure 

the rejection of both offers. 

Mirbagh 



124 

The Minister in Moscow to the Foreign Ministry 

telegram no. 96 

A 20377 13 May 191 8, 6.50 p.m. 

Received: 13 May, 9.00 p.m. 

In continuation of telegram No. 78. 

As far as can be judged from the opinions, the attitudes and the 
strengths of the various political strata and from the overall 
situation, it appears to me, as I see it from here, that our interests 
still demand the continuation in power of the Bolshevik govern- 
ment. [One word garbled] the efforts at insinuation and the pro- 
fessions of friendship of all the other parties, there is, in most 
cases, only the wish to be rid of the Bolsheviks. If they do fall, 
then all their successors will with the aid of the Entente, work 
for reunification with the ceded territories, especially with the 
Ukraine, and for the revision of the Brest peace treaty. Any 
further advance on our part might drive the Bolsheviks into the 
arms of the Entente or, in the event of their fall, bring successors 
favourable to the Entente into power. In the event of relations 
with us being broken off, an event which in that case could 
hardly be avoided, the leadership in Russian political and 
economic development would fall to the Entente. As far as can 
be seen from here, it would best serve our interests to continue 
to provide the Bolsheviks with a minimum of essential goods 



13 MAY igi 8 125 

and to maintain them in power. In spite of all their decrees, 
something can probably be achieved with the Bolsheviks for the 
present time, for they are now all of a sudden much more co- 
operative again in economic affairs, and at least some prepara- 
tions can be made for future economic infiltration. 

Mirbagh 



125 

Protocol of a Meeting at Spa, 13 May 1918 

AS 2230 

Greater Russia 1 

State Secretary von Kuhlmann explained that the Entente had 
apparently recently approached the Bolsheviks with promises, 
if the latter would reopen the war against Germany. He did not 
consider this alarming from a military point of view. The Bol- 
sheviks were in any case under a severe threat from the left, i.e. 
from a party which paid homage to even more radical views 
than the Bolsheviks, who seemed to be trying gradually to 
orientate themselves towards the right. It would, at all events, 
be very much in our interests if it could be announced, once and 
for all, that our operations in Russia were definitely finished. 

General Ludendorff replied that this was now the case and 
that it had presumably already been announced. 

At the General's request, Colonel von Winterfeldt stated that 
he had told Under State Secretary von den Bussche that the 
demarcation-line was being drawn and that the advance had 
thus reached its conclusion. 

General Ludendorff added that our troops were very often 
attacked by bands of Bolsheviks and other Russian groups, and 
that fighting therefore kept breaking out again, even against 
our wish. In any case, the Bolsheviks had long ceased to be what 
they were when they first made their appearance. They were 
now actively occupied with the idea of setting up an army and 
had already got some troops together. In internal politics, too, 
their attitude had really changed considerably, as the State 
Secretary of the Foreign Ministry had explained. 

1 Only the last part of the protocol is printed here. The discussion begins with 
the 1 Ukrainian problem, then the Caucasus, the Dobrudja question, Alsace- 
Lorraine, the Flemmish movement, and the Crimea. 



ia6 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

126 

The Minister in Moscow to the Foreign Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. II4 

A 20759 15 May 1918 

Dispatched: 16 May, 1.45 p.m. 
Received: 16 May, 4.30 p.m. 

Chicherin today asked for a preliminary discussion on economic 
questions with Bronski, the Minister of Commerce. Bronski set 
out an extensive programme for the economic opening-up of 
Russia, of which the bases are contained in the telegram which 
was openly passed on to Joffe at Ghicherin's request. 1 Chicherin 
added that these economic suggestions presupposed a settlement 
of political questions such as would not completely throttle 
Russia. The Russians ask that the negotiations of the com- 
mission in Moscow be speeded up and suggest that it would be 
more practical to have one commission dealing with questions 
of law and reparations, another with financial questions, and a 
third with questions of commerce, economics, and concessions. 
I therefore recommend that negotiations be begun on this basis 
as soon as possible, but that nobody with a personal interest in 
the restoration of former Russian economic conditions be invited 

to take part. , , 

r Mirbagh 

1 Telegram No. 1 13 (A 20704 in Deutschland Nr. 131, volume 38). 

127 
The Minister in Moscow to the Chancellor 

REPORT NO. 6l 

A 21421 16 May 1918 

Today I had a fairly long discussion with Lenin about the overall 
situation. 

In general, Lenin trusts his lucky star with the utmost con- 
viction and repeatedly expresses the most boundless optimism 
in an almost overpowering way. However, he does admit that, 



I 6 MAY ig l8 127 

even though his system is still standing firm, the number of his 
opponents has increased and that the situation 'demands in- 
tenser vigilance than it did a month ago'. 

He bases his faith principally on the fact that the governing 
party is the only one which has any organized force at its dis- 
posal, whereas all the others only agree in their opposition to the 
present system whilst, beyond this, they diverge in all directions 
and have no power behind them to equal that of the Bolsheviks. 1 

In some respects this is certainly true, but the tone in which 
Lenin speaks of the impotence of his enemies shows that he 
nevertheless somewhat underestimates them. 

Beyond this, however, Lenin quite freely admits that his 
opponents are no longer to be found exclusively among the 
parties on his right, but that they are now also being recruited 
in his own camp, where a kind of left wing has formed. The main 
complaint of this opposition inside his own house is that the 
treaty of Brest- Litovsk, which he is still determined to defend 
with the utmost tenacity, was a mistake. More and more Russian 
territory was being occupied ; the peace with Finland and the 
Ukraine had still not been ratified ; the famine had not merely 
not been vanquished, but was actually on the increase. In short, 
a state of peace worthy of the name was still apparently in the 
far distance. 

Unfortunately he had to admit that certain events in the re- 
cent past seemed to justify the attacks of his opponents. It was 
for this reason that he was directing all his desires and efforts 
towards a speedy clarification of matters in the North and the 
South, 2 and particularly towards achieving a peace settlement 
with Helsinki and Kiev, with the help of our co-operation and 
influence. 3 

Not that Lenin spoke plaintively or querulously, nor did he 
insinuate in any way that, if the present state of affairs were to 
last, he might be forced to turn back towards the other powers. 
However, he was quite apparently concerned to describe the 
awkwardness of his position as graphically as possible. 4 

Mirbach 

1 The Kaiser's marginal remark: 'The Japanese, the Chinese, the English!? 
He will have the whole Kossack army against him!' 

2 The Kaiser's marginal remark: 'The Kossack army will settle that soon.' 

3 The Kaiser's marginal remark: 'He will be as unable to put these conditions 
into practice as those of Brest. He has neither government nor executive personnel.' 

4 The Kaiser's marginal remark: 'He is finished.' 



128 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

128 

The Minister in Moscow to the Foreign Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. 122 

A 20991 16 May 1918 

Dispatched: 17 May, 10.30 p.m. 
Received: 18 May, 1.25 a.m. 

According to a reliable source, situation in Petrograd once 
again precarious. The Entente is supposed to be spending enor- 
mous sums in order to put right-wing Social Revolutionaries 
into power and reopen war. The sailors on board the ships Res 
Publico, and /^arya Rosii, and on the cruiser Oleg, which has sailed 
to Ino, are said to have been bribed with large sums; likewise 
the former Preobrazhenski Regiment. Stores of arms in Sestro- 
retck armament works in the hands of Social Revolutionaries. 
Bolsheviks cannot find central office of this apparently well- 
conducted organization. The movement is supposed to have 
opened relations with Dutov and the Siberian movement. Here, 
too, agitation has increased. I am still trying to counter efforts 
of the Entente and support the Bolsheviks. However, I would 
be grateful for instructions as to whether overall situation justi- 
fies use of larger sums in our interests if necessary, and as to what 
trend to support in event of Bolsheviks being incapable of hold- 
ing out. If Bolsheviks fall, successors [one word garbled] to Entente 
have best prospects at the moment. , , 



129 

The State Secretary to the Minister in Moscow 

TELEGRAM NO. I 2 I 

A 20991 Berlin, 18 May 191 8 

In reply to telegram No. 122. 

Please use larger sums, as it is greatly in our interests that Bol- 
sheviks should survive. Riezler's funds at your disposal. If further 
money required, please telegraph how much. It is very difficult 
to say from here which trend to support if Bolsheviks fall. If 



I 8 MAY ig I 8 129 

really hard-pressed, left-wing Social Revolutionaries would fall 
with Bolsheviks. These parties seem to be the only ones who base 
their position on peace treaty of Brest-Litovsk. As a party, 
Kadets are anti-German; Monarchists would also work for re- 
vision of Brest peace treaty. We have no interest in supporting 
Monarchists' ideas, which would reunite Russia. On the con- 
trary, we must try to prevent Russian consolidation as far as 
possible and, from this point of view, we must therefore support 
the parties furthest to the left. 

Kuhlmann 



130 

The State Secretary to the Minister in Moscow 

TELEGRAM NO. 246 

A 23074 Berlin, i June 191 8 

We have heard from the liaison officer of the High Command of 
the Army in Finland that Polish and Czech troops are being 
moved to the Murmansk railway for transport to the Western 
front. We have also heard from a reliable source that five train- 
loads of fully equipped Serbs have been seen on the line from 
Vologda to Perm. It must be made clear to the government in 
Moscow that we cannot stand by and watch such undertakings 
on the part of the Entente. If the Russian government should 
be incapable of effectively preventing such troop transports 
from taking place, then we should have to seek more extensive 
guarantees against any support being sent to the Entente by 
way of the Murmansk coast. Your Excellency will be informed 
as soon as we receive a reply from the High Command of the 
Army to the suggestion that a German commissar be sent to the 
Murmansk area, but I would request you to discuss these events 
with Chichcrin at once in whatever way you think best, to point 
out to him the gravity of the matter, and to tell him that this 
state of affairs cannot possibly be allowed to continue. Finally, 
according to other reports, a Czechoslovak corps has passed 
through Chabarovsk. We insist that it be prevented from 
travelling on to Vladivostok, should such a move be in- 
tended. Report by telegram. 

Kuhlmann 

B 6706 K 



130 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

131 

The Minister in Moscow to the Foreign Ministry 

TELEGRAM NO. 233 

A 23614 3 June 1918,5.41 p.m. 

Received: 4 June, 3.20 a.m. 

Due to strong Entente competition, 3,000,000 marks per month 
necessary. In event of early need for change in our political line, 
a higher sum must be reckoned with. Mirbagh 

132 

The Counsellor of Legation in Moscow to Minister Bergen 

as 2 6 55 4Junei9i8 

Dear Herr von Bergen, 

In the last two weeks, the situation has very rapidly come to a 
head. Famine is on the way, and is being choked off with terror. 
The pressure exerted by the Bolsheviks' mailed fist is enormous. 
People are being quietly shot by the hundred. All this, in itself, 
is not so bad, but there can no longer be any doubt that the 
physical means with which the Bolsheviks are maintaining their 
power are running out. Supplies of petrol for motor vehicles are 
coming to an end, and even the Latvian soldiers sitting in the 
vehicles are no longer absolutely reliable — not to mention the 
peasants and the workers. The Bolsheviks are extremely nervous 
and can feel their end approaching, and all the rats are there- 
fore beginning to leave the sinking ship. Nobody can tell how 
they will face their end, and their dying agony may last several 
more weeks. Perhaps they will try to flee to Nizhni or to Ekaterin- 
burg. Perhaps they intend to fall in their own blood, like desper- 
ate men, or perhaps to invite us to leave in order to be rid of 
the treaty of Brest — 'the breathing space', as they call it — and 
with it their compromise with typical imperialism, thus salving 
their revolutionary consciences in their dying moments. These 
people are completely incalculable, especially in their despair. 
In addition, they once again believe that the more and more un- 



4 JUNE igi8 131 

disguised 'military dictatorship' in Germany is encountering 
enormous opposition, especially as a result of the further ad- 
vance in the East, and that it is bound to lead to the revolution. 
Sokolnikov wrote this recently, apparently on the basis of 
Joffe's reports. 

For the moment their terror seems to have gained them a little 
wind, but, in spite of this, Karakhan has put the original of the 
treaty of Brest ready in his desk. He intends to take the docu- 
ment with him to America and to sell it, with the Emperor's 
signature on it, to the highest bidder. 

The moans and whines of the bourgeoisie for German aid and 
order need not move us, but we must nevertheless reckon with 
one serious possibility — namely the possibility of the resurrection 
of a reasonably ordered bourgeois Russia with the help of the 
Entente. There are Czechoslovak troops here ; there are English 
and French in Archangel and Massnau, and there are officers' 
associations and party organizations. Joy at liberation from the 
terror of the Bolsheviks might help the country over some of its 
economic problems, and the reopening of the banks and of free 
commerce might considerably alleviate matters. If that were to 
happen, then the Ukraine of the Kiev Kadets and Skoropadski 
would throw off the last of its Ukrainian veils and become one 
with Greater Russia. We should then be in the awkward position 
of either having to face an irresistible movement with a few 
divisions, or of being forced to accept it. Surely we must prepare 
ourselves to anticipate this. In concrete terms, that means that 
we must spin a thread reaching to Orenburg and Siberia over 
General Krasnov's head, hold cavalry, directed at Moscow but 
concealed, ready for any eventuality, prepare a future govern- 
ment here with which we could agree, dipping as deep as pos- 
sible into the ranks of the Kadets for it (in order, if necessary, to 
compromise them too), and finally revise those terms of the 
treaty of Brest directed against economic hegemony within 
Russia as a whole, i.e. reunite the Ukraine with Russia and 
make something out of Estonia and Livonia which we could 
later sell back to Russia. To facilitate the restoration of a Russia 
which would again be imperialist is not a pleasant perspective, 
but this development may perhaps be inevitable, for, in view of 
the total instability of the Rada (that is, as far as I and every- 
body else here see it), any idea of a lasting independence for the 
Ukraine would now only be a fantasy and, in spite of everything, 
the vitality of the united Russian soul is enormous. The Ukraine 
would fall with the Bolsheviks. The fait accompli of a dynasty in 



132 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

Kiev might slightly lengthen the life of this artificial state, but 
nothing more. As far as my work here is concerned, the appa- 
ratus of our united rivals, who are working in a variety of roles, 
is extremely powerful, and our devalued roubles disappear at 
a rapid rate. 

Please forgive this personal effusion about a state of chaos 
which, even viewed from here, is all too impenetrable. 

With best wishes, 
Yours, &c, 
Riezler 

4 June 

P.S. Things look a little better today. The terror seems to be 
having its effect and appears seriously to have disturbed the 
conspiracy which had been prepared. There is still hunger, 
which grows more and more threatening, and since people 
imagine the South full of grain, we are being blamed, and not 
without some justification, for the shortage of bread, petrol, and 
coal. We might nevertheless have another six or eight weeks in 
which to consider whether we can risk a state of chaos inclined 
towards the Entente, from which we should be excluded 
economically, or whether, for the sake of the natural resources, 
&c. we shall have to decide to set up a bourgeois order with 
which we can reach agreement. 



133 

The State Secretary of the Foreign Ministry to the State 
Secretary of the Treasury 

as 2562 Berlin, 8 June 1 9 1 8 

Dear Rodern, 

I herewith enclose, for your personal and strictly confidential 
information, a memorandum in which you can read of all the 
latest developments. I will send the official application, with no 
reasons stated, as soon as I have your agreement in principle. 
In view of the great importance of this matter, I should be 
especially grateful for an early favourable reply. 

Yours, &c, 

KtJHLMANN 



8 JUNE igi8 133 

Enclosure: Memorandum for the State Secretary, for discussion 
with Count Rodern g^ ,. June igig 

During the most recent efforts of the Entente in Russia to per- 
suade the Soviet of the Workers' Delegates to accept the demands 
of the Entente, an acceptance which would result in the orienta- 
tion of Russia towards the Entente, Count Mirbach was forced 
to spend considerable sums in order to prevent any resolution to 
this effect. 

The Bolsheviks have, for the moment, been successfully re- 
strained from steering into the waters of the Entente, but every 
day may bring new surprises. The Social Revolutionaries have 
completely sold themselves to the Entente which, with the help 
of the Czechoslovak battalions, is trying to undermine the 
supremacy of the Bolsheviks. It appears that the Bolsheviks 
have, for the moment, succeeded in overcoming the attack of 
the Czechoslovak troops. Nevertheless, the next few months 
will be taken up with internal political strife. This may possibly 
even lead to the fall of the Bolsheviks, especially as one or two 
of their leaders have already reached a certain degree of resig- 
nation as to their own fate. 

As long as the Bolshevik government remains in power, we 
shall v have to try to apply every available means to keep the 
Bolsheviks from orientating themselves in any other direction, 
in spite of the severe tests and handicaps which our own political 
demands (Estonia, Livonia, Transcaucasia, Crimea, &c.) will 
impose on them. This will cost money; probably a great deal of 
money. On the other hand, as we are already reckoning with 
the possibility of the overthrow of the Bolsheviks, we must not 
break off relations with the other political parties. On the con- 
trary, we must assure ourselves a transition as free of danger as 
possible, should the Bolsheviks fall. This too will cost money. 

Count Mirbach has reported that he will now need 3 million 
marks a month for expenses on these activities. In the event of a 
change of policy, however, double this sum may well be needed, 
circumstances permitting. 

The fund which we have so far had at our disposal for 
acquisitions in Russia is exhausted. It is therefore essential that 
the Secretary of the Imperial Treasury put a new fund at our 
disposal. In view of the conditions set out above, this fund will 
have to amount to at least 40 million marks. 

Trautmann 1 

1 Counsellor in the Foreign Ministry. 



134 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

134 

The First Quartermaster General to the State Secretary 
A 252028 General Headquarters, 9 June 1918 

Will your Excellency allow me to express my views on our mili- 
tary and political position in the East? Because of the shortage 
of manpower we have had to weaken our divisions there still 
further. They are strong enough to carry out their duties of occu- 
pation, but should the situation in the East deteriorate, their 
strength will not be sufficient. In any case, because of the obscure 
policy of the weak Soviet government, we must look round for 
other allies in the East. In the North we have Finland, which has 
strengthened its military position as a result of our entry, com- 
pleted with the approval of Your Excellency. We may hope that 
we shall find strong military support there whatever happens. 

The Ukraine has not yet been successful in building up its 
own army. Ukraine is essential to our survival and to our supply 
of raw materials. From the military point of view we are justified 
to use our troops there; it would be a mistake to do otherwise. 

In Georgia, as in Finland, we have the opportunity of streng- 
thening our fighting forces ; we must organize a Georgian army. 
It is therefore necessary to recognize and protect the Georgian 
state. An ethical point should be taken into consideration in this 
case; Georgia is a Christian state whose hopes we have been 
raising for a long time. Germany's recognition and protection 
will at the same time give Georgia security against the greedy 
Turks. Otherwise the difficulties there will never be over. I beg 
you to examine M. Ghenkeli's full powers while he is with you 
and to carry out the policy I have suggested to ensure that 
Georgia, like Finland, should support our war effort. We should 
not postpone taking decisions until the first reports of General 
Kress 1 have reached us. If Georgia is our advanced base, it is to 
be hoped that the Caucasian territory will be gradually pacified 
and that we should be able to draw from there the raw materials 
we so urgently need. 

I should like to stress that Turkey must be taken into account 
and that we must, to a certain degree, regard its wishes. The 
railway line from Batum through Tiflis to Djulfa is extremely 
important to their operations. The transport of troops on this 
line must be made secure for Turkey. We should not forgo run- 
ning the Tiflis-Baku line under German control. There the 



9 JUNE 19 IO 135 

Turks will have to give way to us. Also, Baku should not be 
ceded to the Turks. General Kress 1 will have first to find out 
what the situation is in the Armenian and the Tartar parts of 
Caucasia. The guiding principle should be that Turkey should 
not hinder the development of the Georgian army and the pro- 
vision of raw materials from the Caucasus. It would be an act 
of hostility towards us if the Turks were to occupy the Tiflis- 
Baku line and Baku itself, an occupation which might lead to 
the destruction of the local oil industry. 

It follows from all this that we can expect military support 
from Finland and Georgia in the East. That is not sufficient. 
We also have to enter into contact with the Caucasian Cossack 
tribes, which are trying to elude the grasp of the Soviet govern- 
ment. The return of arms apprehended by us would be a step 
in this direction, as long as we have a guarantee that they will 
not be used against us. 

I believe that everything in the military field which our posi- 
tion in the East requires has been done; this is not so in the 
political field. 

Here I regard the dishonourable endeavours of the Soviet 
government with the gravest distrust. I have expressed this to 
Your Excellency on several occasions. The enclosed telegram 
shows _the attitude of this government in an exceptionally bad 
light. I would also like to remind you of the questions of the 
prisoners of war, the support of the Red Guard in Finland by the 
Soviet government, the preferential treatment of the Entente 
on the Murman railway, the boats in Novorosiisk, and the 
restoration of economic relations with us. Especially annoying 
is the attitude of the Soviet government towards the Czecho- 
slovak, Serbian, and Rumanian troops, though M. Joffe dis- 
putes this. Instead of disarming them as agreed, the Soviet 
government either armed the Czechoslovak and other troops, 
or allowed them to go on as before, and even to fight against us 
in the Ukraine, in order to get to the Murman railway and leave 
for the Far East. From there — the Soviet government believed — ■ 
they could be transported to France and fight against us. It seems 
to have corresponded to the wishes of the Entente to occupy the 
Murman and the East Siberian lines with these troops in order 
to dominate Russia. Then the Soviet government went through 
a volte-face and suddenly declared that the Czechoslovak troops 
wanted to disarm. Their mendacity thus came into the open. 

I shall only mention here that the claims of the Soviet govern- 
ment increased as soon as they discovered that we would not 



»30 UtKMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

cross the demarcation line, although they always protested 
against our alleged advance. The Soviet government has, as far 
as one can see, adopted the same attitude towards us as at the 
beginning of the negotiations at Brest. The Soviet government 
procrastinates as far as all the, for us, important decisions are 
concerned and works as often as it can against us. We can expect 
nothing from this government, although it lives by our mercy. 
It is a lasting danger to us which will diminish only when it 
recognizes us unconditionally as the supreme Power and be- 
comes pliable through its fear of Germany and concern for its 
own existence. Therefore a strong and ruthless treatment of this 
government appears to me still to be indicated. 

We have to see that our own demands, which our own position 
requires, are unconditionally and quickly complied with in 
order to avoid any unpleasant surprises in the East. 

The Soviet government has not yet proved that it can rule its 
territory. So far it has destroyed, and now, turning sharply to 
the Right, it will build. But to do this, they have no administra- 
tion. At any rate, there are powerful trends working against the 
Soviet government; we have to take note of these. 

Though we now negotiate officially only with the Soviet 
government, we should at the same time entertain relations with 
other movements in Russia, in order not to find ourselves sud- 
denly high and dry. We cannot rely on Kerensky's partisans, 
because they are dominated by the Entente. We have to acquire 
contacts with the right-wing monarchist groups and influence 
them so that the monarchist movement would be governed by 
our wishes as soon as it gained influence. The Entente has also 
recognized the importance of this movement. According to 
reliable information the Entente has already promised its sup- 
port to the Monarchists through Minister Noulens at a meeting 
of conservative elements, and proposed the introduction of a 
constitutional monarchy. The proposal was acknowledged 
politely but so far has not been answered. 

In the economic field we have to achieve clear agreements 
with the Russian nationalities, otherwise we shall run the danger 
of the Soviet government's doing everything in its power to im- 
prove on the Brest treaty. The economic agreements in the East 
should also dissolve the threats of the Entente as to the boycott 
of Germany; this will greatly strengthen our position at future 
peace negotiations, and in the whole world. 

LUDENDORFF 
1 General Kress led a military expedition to the Caucasus at the time. 






I I JUNE igi8 137 

135 

The State Secretary of the Treasury to the State Secretary of 
the Foreign Ministry 

AS 2667 Berlin, 11 June 19 18 

Dear Kiihlmann, 

In answer to your letter of 8 June, under cover of which you 
sent me the memorandum attached to AS. 2562, ! I agree to 
support an application, made without the statement of any 
reasons, for 40 million marks to be placed at your disposal for 
the purpose in question. 2 „ .. 

r r ^ KODERN 

1 Document No. 133. 

2 It is doubtful whether these funds reached Moscow at all — they certainly did 
not get there before Mirbach was assassinated on 6 July. On 29 June Bussche tele- 
graphed to Moscow (telegram No. 205, AS 2761 in Deutschland Nr. 131 seer, 
volume 1 8) in order to find out in which way the Minister in Moscow wanted the 
money transferred. 

The first reply came from Riezler on 1 o July, who asked for the July allocation 
of 3 million marks to be transferred to the account of the central commission of 
the Deutsche Bank (A 29400 in Deutschland 131 seer, volume ig). The second 
reply (telegram No. 599, AS 3462, in the same volume) was dispatched by Helffe- 
rich on 30 July, asking for the equivalent value in roubles to be put at his disposal 
by the Consulates-General in Petrograd and in Moscow. Helfferich, the successor 
of Mirbach, had little time in which to use this money. Discouraged by Mirbach's 
fate, Helfferich stayed in Moscow only ten days; during this time he ventured out- 
side the Embassy building once. Finally, he fled from Moscow. 



136 

The Minister in Moscow to the State Secretary 

AS 2936 25 June 191 8 

Dear Chief, 

I should like to avail myself, today, of your invitation to write 
to you privately from time to time, in order briefly to sum up a 
few points about the situation here, which you might be quite 
pleased to have crystallized in a single letter, in spite of the fact 
that they are already to be found spread through various 
reports. 

After two months' careful observation, I can now no longer 
give Bolshevism a favourable diagnosis. We are unquestionably 



138 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

standing by the bedside of a dangerously ill man, who might 
show apparent improvement from time to time, but who is lost 
in the long run. 

Quite apart from the fact that Bolshevism would definitely 
soon, of its own accord, fall a victim to the process of internal 
disintegration which is devouring it, there are all too many 
elements working tirelessly to hurry its end as much as possible 
and to settle the succession favourably to their own designs. 

One day we might therefore be faced with what for us would 
be the most undesirable state of affairs possible, i.e. Social 
Revolutionaries, financed by the Entente and equipped with 
Czechoslovak arms, quite openly leading a new Russia back into 
the ranks of our enemies. (Of course this is not so terrible from 
a military point of view, but politically and economically it 
could not possibly be less desirable.) 

If we now accept that Bolshevism has reached the end of its 
powers, then I think that we should seek to ensure that we are in 
a position to fill the vacuum which will result from its disappear- 
ance with a regime which would be favourable to our designs 
and interests — and this does not necessarily mean the immediate 
restoration of the Monarchy. 

The basic essentials exist. To some extent they are only latent, 
but they could be stimulated into more vigorous activity at any 
moment. 

We have groups of interested parties of the most varied shades 
at our disposal. First of all, there are the Monarchists, in the 
narrower sense of the word, who probably deserve consideration 
as the only available firm king-post for any possible combination, 
but who are not to be recommended. In general they are too con- 
fused and too lazy, and they are fundamentally only interested 
in winning back their former secure and comfortable living- 
conditions with our help. 

The nucleus of which we are thinking should be composed 
of moderates from the right wing, Octobrists and Kadets (these 
reaching as far to the left as possible) , especially as such a com- 
bination would ensure that we had a large percentage of the 
influential men of the industrial and banking worlds serving our 
essential economic interests. 

This bloc, which is already quite powerful as it stands, could 
be further strengthened and hardened if we could draw the 
Siberians into it — though this would indeed be our hardest 
problem. Then, even further vistas, based on the mineral re- 
sources of Siberia, would appear, and, in this connexion, I will 






25 JUNE I 918 139 

just touch on a few wider, almost unlimited possibilities of de- 
velopment which point us to the far and farthest East. 

In the event of a change of orientation here, we would not 
even have to apply a great deal of force, and we could, to some 
extent, keep up appearances in our relations with the Bolsheviks 
right to the last moment. The continual mismanagement here, 
and the equally continual violent blows being struck against our 
interests, could be used as a motive for a military advance at 
any time we chose; and any military advance made by us on 
any considerable scale — and it would not even have to be 
directed against the two capitals — would automatically lead to 
the fall of Bolshevism, after which, equally automatically, the 
new organs of government, which we would be holding in 
readiness and which would be entirely at our service, would step 
into the ensuing gap. 

Of course, nothing can be had absolutely free : we shall have 
to pay some kind of price, if not immediately, then in the later 
course of developments. The friends whom we may then have 
here will certainly not blindly accept the map of Russia as it 
was drawn by the treaty of Brest-Litovsk. They may well have 
already sufficiently detached themselves spiritually from Poland, 
Lithuania, and Courland ; even the permanent renunciation of 
Livonia will not come too hardly to them. On the other hand, 
the amputation of Estonia will arouse much more bitterness 
(because of Reval), while it has become a positive political 
axiom that the permanent separation of the Ukraine from the 
rest of Russia must be proclaimed as impossible. Those in Ger- 
many who invest the Ukraine with some permanent value to 
us will find it hard to accept the idea of allowing it to be re- 
stored to the rest of Russia ; those who regard its separation as 
a war-time measure will have less difficulty in altering their 
mode of thought on this matter. 

I am, of course, perfectly aware that I am only seeing one 
section of the overall picture of the world. Only those who have 
the whole of this picture before them and who know all the 
various inter-relationships can make decisions. Nevertheless, I 
felt both the wish and the need to describe the sector for which 
I am responsible, as I seem to see it. ,, 



APPENDIX I 
Memorandum by Dr. Helphand 

A 8629 in WK iic gth March 19 15 1 

seer, volume 5 

Preparations for a Political Mass Strike in Russia. 

Preparations are to be made for a political mass strike in Russia, 
to take place in spring, under the slogan 'Freedom and Peace'. The 
centre of the movement will be Petrograd, and within Petrograd, 
the Obnuhov, Putilov, and Baltic works. The strike is to halt railway- 
communications between Petrograd and Warsaw and Moscow and 
Warsaw, and to immobilize the South-Western Railway. The rail- 
way strike will be principally conducted to affect the large centres 
with considerable labour forces, the railway workshops, &c. In order 
to widen the scope of the strike, as many railway bridges as possible 
will be blown up, as during the strike movement of 1904 and 1905. 

Conference of Russian Socialist Leaders 

The task can only be fulfilled under the leadership of the Russian 
Social Democrats. The radical wing of this party has already gone 
into action, but it is essential that they be joined by the moderate 
minority group. So far it has been mainly the radicals who have pre- 
vented unification. However, two weeks ago their leader, Lenin, 
himself threw open the question of unification with the minority. It 
should be possible to achieve unity on a compromise policy, based 
on the necessity of exploiting the weakening of the administrative 
apparatus inside the country brought about by the war, and thus to 
initiate positive action. It should be understood that the moderate 
group has always been more strongly influenced by the German 
Social Democrats, and amongst them the personal authority of some 
of the German and Austrian Social Democratic leaders could still 
achieve a great deal. After careful preliminary probing, it is essential 
that a congress of Russian Social Democratic leaders be arranged in 
Switzerland or in some other neutral country. The following should 
take part in such a congress: (1) The Social Democratic majority 
party; (2) the minority party; (3) the Jewish League; (4) the Ukrain- 
ian organization, Spilka; (5) the Polish Social Democratic party; 
(6) the Social Democratic Party of Poland [sic]; (7) the Lithuanian 
Social Democratic party; (8) the Finnish Social Democrats. The con- 
gress can only take place if unanimous decisions on starting immediate 
action against Tsarism can be assured beforehand. 

1 The memorandum is undated. It was registered in the journal of the Foreign 
Ministry on 9 March 1917. 












APPENDIX I H 1 

The congress might have to be preceded by a discussion between 
the Russian Social Democratic majority and minority parties. 
Possible additions to the list of participants in the congress might 
be: (9) the Armenian party Dashnackzutiun ; (10) Hindshak. 

Apart from its enormous significance in terms of organization, the 
congress would also, by its decisions, have a tremendous effect on 
public opinion in France and England. 

The Russian Social Revolutionaries 

Separate negotiations must be held with the Russian Social 
Revolutionary party. Its members are more inclined to nationalism, 
and its influence on the workers is minimal. In Petrograd it only has 
a few followers in the Baltic works. For the purposes of a mass strike, 
it can safely be ignored. On the other hand, the peasants are its 
sphere, and, with them, it wields considerable influence through the 
medium of the primary school teachers. 

Local Movements 

At the same time as these preparations to create a basis for the 
organization of a mass strike, agitation must also be begun imme- 
diately. Through Bulgaria and Rumania communications can be 
established with Odessa, Nikolaiev, Sevastopol, Rostov (on the Don), 
Batum, and Baku. During the revolution, the Russian workers in 
these areas made local and occupational demands which were first 
granted, but later repudiated, and they have not abandoned these 
demands. Only two years ago there was a strike of sailors and dock- 
workers which brought these old wishes into the limelight once again. 
Agitation should be based on these points, and then also take a 
political direction. While a general strike could probably not be 
achieved in the Black Sea basin, it might be possible, in view of the 
current unemployment there, to arrange local strikes in Nikolaiev, 
in Rostov, and among certain trades in Odessa. Such strikes would 
take on symptomatic significance by disturbing the peace which de- 
scended on internal strife within the Tsarist Empire at the beginning 
of the war. 

For this agitation to be carried out, the Russian seamen's organi- 
zation, which, in recent years, had its base first in Constantinople and 
then in Alexandria, must be re-established, and it would now have to 
have its centre in Constanta or Galati. The fact that the towns on the 
Black Sea will be severely disturbed by the war at sea, will make 
them especially amenable to political agitation. A special effort must 
be made to ensure that, as in 1905, the revolutionary organizations, 
supported by the workers, gain control of the city administration, so 
that they can alleviate the misery of the poorer classes, who are 
suffering terribly from the war. This, too, would serve the purpose 



142 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

of giving a new impulse to the general revolutionary movement. 
Should a rising occur in Odessa, it could be supported by the Turkish 
navy. 

The prospects of a mutiny in the Black Sea fleet cannot be assessed 
until closer contact has been established with Sevastopol. 

In Baku and the region of the oil-fields a strike could be organized 
relatively easily. Moreover, it is important that a considerable pro- 
portion of the workers there are Tartars, that is, Moslems. If a strike 
occurs, attempts will be made to set fire to the naphtha wells and the 
oil depots, as in 1905. There would also be a possibility of organizing 
strikes in the mining district on the Donets, and conditions in the 
Urals, where the Socialist majority party has a strong following, are 
particularly favourable. Political strikes could easily be organized 
among the miners there, if a little money were available, for the 
population is extremely poor. 



Siberia 

Special attention should be devoted to Siberia. In Europe, it is 
only known as the land of exile, but throughout the great tracts of 
Siberia, along the railways and the rivers, lives a strong peasant class, 
proud and independent, which would be happiest completely un- 
disturbed by the central government. 

In the towns there are lively business circles and a layer of intel- 
lectuals, consisting of political exiles and others influenced by them. 
The Siberian constituencies send Socialist deputies to the Duma. 
During the revolutionary movement of 1905, the entire administra- 
tion lay m the hands of the revolutionary committee. The admini- 
strative apparatus is extremely weak, and, now that it is felt that 
there is no danger threatening from Japan, the military organization 
has been reduced to a minimum. These conditions make it possible 
to set up several centres of activity in Siberia. At the same time 
preparations should be made to allow the political exiles to escape to 
European Russia, which would be a purely financial problem. In 
this way, several thousand of the best agitators, who have important 
connexions and enjoy unlimited authority, could be directed to the 
centres of agitation mentioned above and to Petrograd. This measure 
could, of course, only be carried through by the Socialist organi- 
zations themselves, as only they have sufficient knowledge of the 
usetulness of individual personalities. 

The more determinedly the Socialist organizations take their 
stand and the more their activities are co-ordinated, the more all 
these undertakings will develop and interlock. On the other hand 
the undertakings themselves— and they should be taken in hand im- 
mediately for this reason, if for no other— will act as a spur to the 
nuclei of the Socialist parties and will encourage them to achieve 
unity. 






APPENDIX I '43 

Press Campaign 

At the same time, the general trend of the undertakings must be 
emphasized inside the Russian Socialist parties by discussion in the 
press, in pamphlets, &c. Pamphlets in Russian can be published in 
Switzerland. A Russian newspaper, Golos, which is edited by several 
leaders of the Socialist minority party, is published in Paris, and, in 
spite of the exceptional circumstances in which it appears, it has main- 
tained a completely objective attitude to the war. This paper will not 
be able to avoid taking part in a discussion of party tactics. The Swiss 
and Italian Socialist newspapers can also be called on to publish 
these comments, as can the Danish, the Dutch, the Swedish, and the 
American Socialist press. Internationally reputed German Socialist 
leaders could easily take part in this discussion. 

A press campaign would have a considerable effect on the attitude 
of the neutral states, especially on Italy, and this effect would be 
transmitted to Socialist circles in France and England. Even an 
objective portrayal of the course of the war, which could only be 
given in England and France under the aegis of the Socialists, and 
even then only with great difficulty, would be of great value. 

The Socialist press in Bulgaria and Rumania could easily be in- 
fluenced to wage a lively struggle against Tsarism. 

Since the centre for revolutionary agitation in Southern Russia 
will be Rumania, the attitude of the Rumanian daily press is im- 
portant for this reason alone, and it is, of course, even more important 
in determining Rumania's own attitude to the war. The large 
Rumanian newspapers are all in the service of the Russians, and their 
financial obligations are supposed to be such as would be difficult to 
overcome. However, it would not be very difficult to organize a 
group of reputable journalists to publish a large, independent daily 
newspaper with an explicit policy of closer contact with Germany. 
As the Rumanian press is tuned to a Russian victory, it has lost a 
great deal of prestige as a result of the course of the war so far, 
whereas this new paper would win itself a public through its objective 
news reports. The development of events would concentrate public 
opinion on it more and more, and would even force the other news- 
papers to change their attitude. 

Agitation in North America 

The United States demand special attention. The enormous num- 
ber of Jews and Slavs there represent a very receptive element for 
anti-Tsarist agitation, and both the Russian Social Democrats and 
the Jewish League have important contacts there. A few agitators 
must be sent out to make a tour of these areas. Besides making a per- 
sonal appearance, they would stimulate the existing forces on the 
spot into energetic action, strengthen the organizations, reinforce the 



144 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

many Russian and Jewish press undertakings, and thus bring about 
the development of systematic activity. 

In view of the many contacts with Russia which the millions of 
Russian emigre's, most of whom have only recently left their own 
country, must have, this could well be of great importance. More- 
over, a movement among the Russian emigres in America could not 
fail to have an effect on public opinion there. Agitators from among 
these circles could also be sent to Russia. In the present war, in which 
the future of the German nation is at stake, the German element, too, 
should become more active. A strong anti-Tsarist movement among 
the Russians and the Russian Jews in America would favour action 
by the Germans. A few German and Austrian Social Democratic 
speakers should be sent over. 

The Growth of the Revolutionary Movement 

Agitation in the neutral states will have powerful repercussions on 
agitation in Russia, and vice versa. Further developments depend, 
to a large extent, on the course of the war. The jubilant mood which 
reigned in Russia in the first few days has already sobered consider- 
ably. Tsarism needs quick victories, while it is, in fact, suffering 
bloody reverses. Even if the Russian army merely remains pinned 
to its present positions throughout the winter, there will be grave 
dissatisfaction throughout the country. This mass mood will be ex- 
ploited, deepened, extended, and spread in all directions by the 
apparatus for agitation sketched above. Strikes here and there, the 
risings produced by distress and the increase in political agitation will 
all embarrass the Tsarist government. If it takes reprisals, this will 
result in growing bitterness : if it shows indulgence, this will be inter- 
preted as a sign of weakness and fan the flames of the revolutionary 
movement even more. Ample experience of this was gained in 1904 
and 1905. If, on the other hand, the Russian army suffers a severe 
reverse, then the movement opposing the government may quickly 
assume undreamt-of proportions. In any case, it can be assumed 
that a political mass strike will take place in the spring, if all available 
forces are mobilized according to the plan sketched above. If the 
mass strike grows to any considerable extent, the Tsarist regime will 
be forced to concentrate the military forces at its disposal inside 
Russia principally on Petrograd and Moscow. In addition, the 
government will need troops to protect railway communications. 
During the strike of December 1905, two regiments were needed 
merely to protect the line between Petrograd and Moscow. Only by 
these means was it possible to counter the repeated attempts made by 
the strikers to blow up the railway bridges near Tiver and in other 
places, and to throw the guards regiments, who alone were able to 
suppress the rising, into Moscow. Although the main preoccupation 
is to be the imminent railway strike in the West, efforts will also be 






APPENDIX I 145 

made to start other railway strikes wherever possible. Even if this 
does not succeed everywhere, the Tsarist government will have to 
employ large military forces for the protection of bridges, stations, 
&c, and, at the same time, the administrative apparatus will be 
thrown into confusion and will begin to disintegrate. 

The Peasant Movement and the Ukraine 

As in 1 905, the peasant movements may be an important accom- 
panying phenomenon alongside the events outlined above. The con- 
ditions in which the peasants in Russia are living have not improved 
since then; on the contrary, they have deteriorated. In the eyes of the 
Russian peasants, the whole problem is one of land. The peasants 
will therefore bring manorial land under the plough again, and thus 
threaten the landowners. 

The fundamental basis of the Russian peasant problem is, of 
course, the question of land ownership, but the solution of this ques- 
tion is also closely linked with the formation of co-operatives and of 
organizations granting credit at low interest, with school education, 
and with the taxation system and the administration of the state in 
general. In the Ukraine, all these factors combine to produce a de- 
mand for autonomy. As long as Tsarism maintains its domination, 
which, in the Ukraine, follows a policy of giving the land to the 
Muscovite aristocracy and protecting the great Muscovite land- 
owners against the Ukrainian peasants with all available means, the 
peasants have no alternative but to rebel as soon as they realize that 
the power of the government is weakening or that the regime is in 
difficulties. One of the first tasks facing a Ukrainian government will 
be to establish law and order in place of the conditions of anarchy 
which resulted from the Muscovite regime, and, supported by the 
confidence of the Ukrainian people, it will easily achieve this end. 
The formation of an independent Ukraine will be seen both as a 
liberation from the Tsarist regime and as a salvation from the chaos 
of peasant unrest. 

If there is peasant unrest in Central Russia — and the peasants of 
Greater Russia will certainly not remain quiet if the Ukrainian pea- 
sants rise close by them — then the Social Revolutionary party will 
also have to abandon its policy of inactivity. Through the medium 
of the primary school teachers this party has considerable influence 
among the peasants of Greater Russia, and it is authoritative among 
the Trudovniki, the peasants' Peoples' Party in the Duma. The atti- 
tude of the Russian Social Democrats to peasant unrest would 
emerge at once if the peasants decided to oppose Tsarism. 

The Movement in Finland 

Within this general movement, important activities could be 
undertaken in Finland. The Finnish parties are in an awkward 

B 6706 L 



146 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

position, for there are considerable Russian military forces in the 
country. On the other hand, the Finns do not simply want to be 
annexed by Sweden. But the Swedes do not want to annex Finland : 
they simply want to turn it into a buffer state, i.e. an independent 
state. The Swedish party is a small minority in Finland. Therefore 
attempts must be made, above all, to achieve an agreement between 
the Swedish government and the more powerful Finnish parties, 
amongst which the Social Democratic party is the most important. 
This could probably be achieved by the Swedes' guaranteeing the 
Finns the widest possible measure of autonomy and leaving it to them 
to decide to which group of states they wish to attach themselves. 
Once such an agreement is reached, preparations for a general 
rising in Finland can be made quietly and systematically. The 
Finnish Social Democrats have excellent organizations, similar to 
those of the German Social Democrats, at their disposal. The 
obstinate defence of its rights against Tsarist despotism has trained 
the whole Finnish people in discretion and silent co-operation, in 
which the difference of language also helps a great deal. All the 
preparations are to be made secretly until some considerable wave 
of strikes breaks out in Russia. This would be the moment for a general 
rising in Finland. Because of Finland's large area, the Tsarist 
government would be faced with the choice of breaking down the 
military forces at their disposal into small, independent units which 
could attack the various storm centres, or concentrating their forces 
on the most important administrative and strategic points, thus 
abandoning the country to the rebels. The former were the tactics 
used by the Tsarists to defeat the revolutionary movement of 1905. 
Numerous expeditionary forces were formed, both large and small, 
and their commanders were given complete military and civil 
powers. The plan was worked out in Petrograd by a special com- 
mission, on which sat members both of the General Staff and of the 
highest administrative bodies. The revolutionaries' executive was 
well informed about the work of this commission, but was not able 
to frustrate its plan. Nevertheless, it took the Tsarist government the 
whole strength of its army and a period of two years to quash the 
rising. If the Tsarist government were now to adopt the same course 
in Finland, the Swedish army would have to intervene to protect 
Finnish independence, for, while this course is probably the best way 
to quash a rising, it makes the army absolutely defenceless against 
the intervention of hostile forces. The Tsarist government will there- 
fore probably decide for the second course and withdraw the army 
to the administrative centres, i.e. to the coast and the railway just 
behind. They may even destroy the railway links with Sweden. In 
practice, the Russians will then only dominate the coast of the Gulf 
of Bothnia. Masters of their own house, the rebels will then form a 
National Guard, as in 1904 and 1905, take defensive measures, and 
make other provisions to permit the Swedish troops entry, which may 



APPENDIX I 147 

have'been complicated by the destruction of the railways. Naturally, 
a great deal depends on the development of events in Petrograd. 

The Finns could be of great service, even before the general rising. 
They could provide information about the numbers, the disposition 
and the movements of Russian troops in Finland, and about the 
movements of the Russian navy. They could set up a signal service 
for directing the activities of aircraft. (The Finnish custom of paint- 
ing country houses, and especially their roofs, red would be useful 
in this. An unpainted section on a red roof would act as a land-mark.) 
They could also set up wireless telegraphy stations and make pro- 
visions for blowing up bridges and buildings. Above all, they could 
permit the Russian revolutionaries to communicate with Petrograd. 
Since the country is very large, is immediately adjacent to the 
Petrograd region, and has regular, hourly traffic to Petrograd, they 
could set up an information and transport service, in spite of the 
military occupation. Stores of arms could be built up, and arms, ex- 
plosives, &c, smuggled across to Petrograd. 

The Caucasus 

At the time of the revolution, the Tsarist government for a long 
time practically ignored the Caucasus. As the Caucasus was not 
threatened from outside, they began by allowing anything that 
might happen there to happen. This state of affairs was allowed to 
reach the point where the government tolerated governors who were 
in open contact with the revolutionary committee to head the ad- 
ministration. They were certain that, once they had re-established 
their domination in Russia proper, they would be able to subdue the 
Caucasus once again, and in this they have been proved perfectly 
right. This time, however, because of the Russo-Turkish war, the 
situation is quite different. There is a possibility of the secession of 
the Caucasus, and the significance of a rising to the rear of the 
fighting armies needs no further explanation. However, in contrast 
to Finland, where a well-organized, general rising is possible, the 
movement in the Caucasus will always suffer from national divisions 
and party struggles. In the years of the revolution, it was the 
Georgians who emerged as the most forceful of the Caucasians. 

At that time, with the support of the smallholders' masses, they 
gained complete control of the government of Kutai, setting up their 
own administration, law-courts, &c. However, it was not the 
separatists but the Social Democrats who headed this movement. 
Some of the Armenians fought in the ranks of the Social Democrats, 
while the rest grouped themselves around the Armenian nationalist 
parties, which had long ago abandoned their separatist tendencies. 
However, it must be realized that, after the disappointments of the 
revolution and in face of the war, the separatist tendencies have 
naturally gained in popularity. 



148 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

The Tartar workers took part in the strikes. In general, the Tartar 
masses played a reactionary role; they allowed themselves to be 
incited against the Armenians by agents of the Petrograd govern- 
ment, and this resulted in bloody encounters between the two • 
national elements. However, since the call for a holy war, the Tsarist 
government will no longer be able to rely openly on the support of 
the Moslem population. They will nevertheless secretly foster reli- 
gious hatred, and will encourage the Armenians' fear of just this holy 
war. It is therefore essential that first of all everything possible be 
done on the Turkish side to make it clear to the Caucasian Moslems 
that it is in fact the achievement of the aims of their holy war which 
demands their close co-operation with their Christian neighbours in 
the struggle against Tsarism. An agreement must be made at once 
between the Young Turks and the Armenian parties in Turkey, 
which are identical with those in Russia. The details of this project, 
which will involve a variety of difficulties in its realization, do not 
fall within the scope of this memorandum. However, attention must 
be drawn to the fact that a determined attitude on the part of the 
Russian Social Democrats would have enormous effects on the 
activities of the Armenians and Georgians in the Caucasus. The 
Social Democrats could perhaps take control of the whole move- 
ment, and they would therefore certainly encourage the national 
parties to join in the struggle by their attitude. This is another reason 
why the conference of Russian Socialist party leaders suggested 
above is an urgent necessity. 

A holy war, which has the power to produce large movements in 
Persia, Egypt, North Africa, &c, will hardly have much effect in 
Russia. The Tartars on the Volga and the Koma will certainly make 
no move, for they are a peaceful and completely subjugated people, 
who would face the opposition of the overwhelming numerical 
superiority of the Russian population. The situation in the Caucasus 
is slightly different, but one must realize that the Tartars there were 
pacified long ago. The memory of the heroic struggle for independ- 
ence fought in the past has faded, and the Moslem population is not 
yet sufficiently civilized to begin a modern revolutionary movement. 
The old conflict between the Caucasian mountain tribes and the 
Russians was simply a fight against any kind of centralized state. 
Since then, the tribal organization has completely disintegrated. The 
tribal chiefs have become landowners; the contact between them and 
the masses is now only slight, and the people have lost their sense of 
independence. Because the Moslems feel economically and culturally 
inferior to the Christian population, they look to the government, , 
as the most powerful among powerful forces, for support. They would 
certainly prefer a Moslem government, but such a government would 
first of all have to prove itself strong enough to defeat the Tsarist 
government. The Turkish army will be favourably received, but it 
will have to conquer the might of the Russians with the strength of 



APPENDIX I 149 

its own arms. This does not, of course, entirely exclude the possibility 
of the formation of isolated rebel bands, especially on the Persian 
border. There is no prospect of a large-scale partisan war being 
waged by the Moslem population in the Caucasus. However, a rising 
of the Kuban cossacks is not beyond the realms of possibility, and 
Ukrainian propaganda could be useful in preparing such a rising. 

The Culmination of the Movement 

The growth of the revolutionary movement within the Tsarist 
Empire will, among other things, produce a state of general unrest. 
In addition to the effects of the general course of the war, special 
measures could be adopted to aggravate this unrest. For obvious 
reasons, the Black Sea basin and the Caucasian basin are the most 
favourable districts. Particular attention should be devoted to 
Nikolaiev, as the shipyards there are working at great pressure for 
the launching of two large warships. Efforts are to be made to start 
a strike among the workers there. This strike need not necessarily be 
political in character; it could just as well be based on the workers' 
economic demands. 

It can be accepted as a fact that the Tsarist government needs 
quick victories to maintain itself. If it lasts until the spring, even the 
present situation, in which the Russian army is being systematically 
harried without achieving any progress, can only result in a revolu- 
tion. However, the difficulties facing the movement must not be 
overlooked. 

First and foremost, there is mobilization, which has stripped the 
country of its most active younger elements ; and then there is also 
the growth of national feeling which has resulted from the war. 
However, in face of the failure of the war, this very feeling is bound 
to turn into bitterness and be directed against Tsarism. It must be 
realized that, unlike the Ukrainian or the Finnish Social Democrats, 
the Russian Social Democratic party will never adopt a position hos- 
tile to the Russian Empire. Even at the time of the revolution, this 
party included over a million workers within its organizations, and, 
since then, its following among the masses has increased to such an 
extent that the government has twice been forced to alter the electoral 
law, for fear of allowing the Duma to be flooded with Social Demo- 
cratic deputies. Such a party must surely represent the interests and 
the moods of the masses, who did not want the war, and are now 
merely taking part in it. The Social Democrats are in determined 
opposition to the unlimited external extension of power which is the 
aim of Tsarist diplomacy. They see this as a severe obstacle to the 
internal development of the nations forming the Empire — including 
the Russian nation. They consider the Tsarist government respon- 
sible for this war, and will therefore hold it responsible for the futility 
and the failure of the war. They will demand the fall of the govern- 
ment and a quick conclusion of peace. 



150 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

If the revolutionary movement achieves any considerable scale, 
and even if the Tsarist government is still in power in Petrograd, a 
provisional government can be set up to raise the question of an 
armistice and a peace treaty and to open diplomatic negotiations. 

If the Tsarists should actually be forced to make an armistice 
before this occurs, then the better the revolutionary movement is 
prepared, the more violently it will break out then. Even if the 
Tsarist government succeeds in retaining power for the duration of 
the war, it will never be able to maintain itself after a peace dictated 
from abroad. 

Thus the armies of the Central Powers and the revolutionary 
movement will shatter the colossal political centralization which is 
the embodiment of the Tsarist Empire and which will be a danger 
to world peace for as long as it is allowed to survive, and will conquer 
the stronghold of political reaction in Europe. 

Siberia 1 

Particular attention should also be devoted to Siberia because 
the enormous deliveries of artillery and other arms from the United 
States to Russia will probably pass through Siberia. The Siberian 
project must therefore be treated separately from the rest. A few- 
energetic and sufficiently equipped agents should be sent to Siberia 
on special missions to blow up the railway bridges. They would find 
a sufficient number of assistants among the exiles. Explosives would 
have to be provided from the mines in the Urals, but small quan- 
tities could probably be smuggled over from Finland. Technical in- 
structions would have to be worked out here. 

Press Campaign 

The predictions made about Rumania and Bulgaria have been 
proved correct by the course of developments since the completion 
of this memorandum. The Bulgarian press is now completely pro- 
German, and there is a noticeable swing in the attitude of the 
Rumanian press. The provisions which we have made will soon show 
even better results. It is now of particular importance to begin work 
on [word missing] . 

1. Financial support for the majority group of the Russian Social 
Democrats, which is fighting the Tsarist government with all the 
means at its disposal. Its leaders are in Switzerland. 

2. The setting up of direct communications with the revolutionary 
organizations in Odessa and Nikolaiev, via Bucharest and Jassy. 

3. The creation of contacts with the Russian seamen's organi- 
zation. Some contact has already been made through a gentleman in 
Sofia, and further contacts are possible via Amsterdam. 

1 The rest of the memorandum forms a separate unit. It was written on a differ- 
ent typewriter; it contains Helphand's afterthoughts. 



APPENDIX I 15 1 

4. Support for the activities of the Jewish Socialist organization, 
'The League' (not Zionists). 

5. Finding authoritative Russian Social Democratic and Social 
Revolutionary personalities in Switzerland, Italy, Copenhagen, and 
Stockholm and furthering the efforts of such of them as are deter- 
mined on immediate and vigorous action against Tsarism. 

6. Support for those Russian revolutionary writers who will con- 
tinue to take part in the struggle against Czarism, even while the war 
is still on. 

7. Connexions with the Finnish Social Democrats. 

8. The organization of congresses of Russian revolutionaries. 

9. Influencing public opinion in the neutral states, especially the 
opinions of the Socialist press and the Socialist organizations, favour- 
ably towards the struggle against Tsarism and towards connexions 
with the Central Powers. This has already been done successfully in 
Bulgaria and Rumania, but efforts to do so in Holland, Denmark, 
Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, and Italy must be continued. 

10. The equipment of an expedition to Siberia, with the specific 
mission of blowing up the most important railway bridges and pre- 
venting the transport of arms from America to Russia. The expedition 
should also be provided with sufficient financial means to make it 
possible for a number of deported political prisoners to escape into 
the interior. 

1 1 . Technical preparations for a rising in Russia : 

(a) Provision of accurate maps of the Russian railways, showing 
the most important bridges which must be destroyed if traffic 
is to be crippled, and also showing the main administrative 
buildings, depots, and workshops to which most attention 
should be devoted. 

(b) Exact figures for the amount of explosives required to achieve 
the aim in every case. Here, consideration must be given to the 
shortage of materials and to the difficult circumstances in 
which the tasks will be carried out. 

(c) Clear and simple instructions for the handling of explosives in 
blowing up bridges, blowing up large buildings, &c. 

(d) Simple formulas for the preparation of explosives. 

(e) Preparation of a plan for resistance to armed forces by the 
rebel population in Petrograd, including special consideration 
of the workers' quarters, the defence of houses and streets, the 
construction of barricades, and defence against cavalry and 
infiltrating infantry. 

The Jewish Socialist 'League' in Russia is a revolutionary organi- 
zation, supported by the workers, which gave considerable service 
even in 1904. It has nothing to do with the Zionists, from whom, by 
contrast, nothing can be expected : 

1. Because their party structure is extremely loose. 



152 GERMANY AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 

2. Because a strong Russian patriotic trend has made itself felt in 
their ranks since the beginning of the war. 

3. Because, after the Balkan War, the nucleus of their leadership 
actively sought to win the favour of English and Russian 
diplomatic circles — though this did not stop them from lobby- 
ing the German Imperial government as well. 

4. Because they are incapable of any political action. 



APPENDIX II 

A Note on the Foreign Ministry, igi^.-i8 

Since Bismarck's time, the Reichskanzler was also the Foreign 
Minister. He was assisted by a State Secretary, and first by one, later 
in the war by two Under State Secretaries. 1 Further down, the 
Foreign Ministry consisted of the following departments: 
Abteilung la, which was concerned with matters of high policy, and 

also some personnel matters of officials in the diplomatic service. 
Abteilung lb, concerned with personnel matters, code and courier 

matters, court procedure, protocol and finance. 
Abteilung II, concerned with trade and transport, also with medical, 

veterinary and quarantine matters, and railways, post, telegraph, 

&c. 
Abteilung III was the legal department. 

The missions and consulates abroad were a part of the Ministry. 
In 1 914, before the outbreak of the war, there were 44 missions, of 
which 9 were Embassies. 

This organization of the Ministry survived the war and was pre- 
served till March 1920, when the Foreign Ministry of the Weimar 
Republic was radically reorganized. Though the outbreak of the war 
did not affect the structure of the Ministry, it lost most of its peace- 
time functions. Only the missions in the neutral countries remained. 
Most of these missions accommodated military Abwehr sections, 
subordinate to the High Command. Foreign Ministry officials often 
held military ranks, and their transfers from diplomatic to military 
service and vice versa were frequent. 

The headquarters of the Auswartiges Amt were in Berlin W. 8, 
Wilhelmstrasse Nos. 75 and 76. Since the General Headquarters 
became, in a sense, the political capital of the Empire, where the 
Kaiser lived, and the Chancellor and the State Secretary spent most 
of their time in the first months of the war, the Foreign Ministry sent 
two liaison officers there, one attached to the General Headquarters 
(Treutler 1 914-16, Lersner 191 6-1 8) and the other to the Imperial 
Court (Grtinau) . Later in the war, before the conclusion of the 
peace of Brest-Litovsk, a similar post was created at the Eastern 
Command. 

1 State Secretary: Dec. 1912-Nov. 1916, Jagow; Nov. igi6-Aug. 191 7, Zim- 
mermann; Aug. 1917-July 1918, Kuhlmann ; July 1918-Oct. 191 8, Hintze. 

Under State Secretary: May 1911-Nov. 1916, Zimmermann ; U.St.S. I (Pol.) 
Nov. 1916-Oct. 1918 Stumm; U.St.S. II (Econ.) Oct. 1916-Dec. 1 9 1 8, Bussche. 



INDEX OF PROPER NAMES 



Abranov, 28. 
Adelmann, Count, 13. 
Alexinsky, G. A., 6. 
Appenroth, 13. 
Arz, General, 75. 
Astrov, V., 51. 
Axelrod, P. B., 6, 8, 51, 55. 

Baake, K., 61. 

Bagocki, S., 28, 88. 

Baier, 54, 72, 85, 93, 97. 

Batsarias, 1, 2, 86. 

Bebutov, Prince, 24, 92. 

Berckheim, Count von, 122, 123. 

Bergen, D., ix, x, 11, 18, 28, 54, 72, 75, 

79. 8 5, 93, 94, 95, 97. 9 8 > Io8 , r 3°- 
Bernstein, E., x. 
Bethmann-Hollweg, T., 90. 
Bismarck, Prince Otto von, 153. 
Bobrov, 19, 20. 
Bockelmann, g2. 
Boetzov, 63. 
Borbjerg, I 7 ., 46. 
Brandstroem, General, 103. 
Branting, K. H., 46, 62. 
Brockdorff-Rantzau, Count von, 6, 9, 

10, 16, 25, 31, 33, 46, 50, 68, 92, 116. 
Bronski, M., 126. 
Brusilov, General, 20, 66. 
Brussatis, Lieutenant, 122. 
Buchholtz, K., 13, 97. 
Bukharin, N. I., 14. 
Burmann, Captain, 29. 
Bussche, H., 24, 27, 33, 34, 38, 40, 43, 

69, 79, 81, 85, 86, 89, 93, 96, 97, 98, 

104, 107, 108, 113, 115, 118, 119, 

125, 137, 153- 

Chenkeli, A. I., 134. 

Chernov, V. M., 19, 20, 54, 113, 114, 

1 15, 122. 
Chicherin, G, 126, 129. 
Chvostov, I. S., 15, 16. 
Colin, A., 4. 
Cramon, General, 75. 
Czernin, O., 78, 79, 84, 95. 

Delcassci, T., 7. 
Deutsch, L., 6. 
Dneveinski, 6. 
Dobrovich, 60. 
Dolin, D., 28. 
Drews, W., 3. 
Dutov, 128. 



Ebert, F., 43, 49, 50. 
Einem, Colonel, 20, 23. 
Erzberger, M., ix, 69, 87, 90, 91, 92, 
98, 102. 

Falkenhayn, General E., vii. 

Fehrmann, 92. 

Ferdinand I, King of Bulgaria, 27, 

60. 
Francis, D. R., 123. 
Frohlich, F., 3. 
Fiirstenberg, see Hanecki. 
Futran, V., 57, 58. 

Goldberg, 6g, 90, 91, 101, 102, 105, 

106. 
Goldmann, M. I., 98. 
Gorki, M., 92. 
Grigoriev, 28. 

Grimm, R., 29, 36, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50. 
Grossmann, M., 69. 
Griinan, 51, 71, 96, 99, 153. 
Guchkov, A. I., 12, 25, 31, 46, 52. 
Gulkevich, 98. 
Gutstein, M., 28. 

Haase, H., 47, 49, 64, 69. 

Haeften, Lieutenant-Colonel, 67. 

Haenisch, K., 72. 

Hanecki, J. (Fiirstenberg), xi, 42, 64, 
66, 68, 73, 84, 108. 

Heidenstam, 53. 

Helfferich, K., 8, 10, 137. 

Helphand, A. (Parvus), viii, ix, xi, 1,2, 
3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 25, 32, 42, 43, 
50, 56, 66, 67, 68, 69, 72, 73, 86, 87, 
105, 107, 108, no, 118, 140, 150. 

Hennet, Baron von, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23. 

Hertling, Count von, 7g. 

Herzfeld, 64. 

Hindenburg, Field-Marshal, 47, 98. 

Hoffmann, General M., ix, 27. 

Hoffmann, A., Swiss Federal Counsel- 
lor, 25, 28, 36, 46, 47, 49. 

Hiilsen, Captain, 13, 27, 28, 40, 44, 70. 

Huysmanns, C. 63. 

Izvolsky, A., 82. 

Jagow, G., ix, 2, 4, 8, 10, 24, 32, 92, 

153- 
Janson, 38, 40, 41, 61, 62, 63. 
Jaures, J. A., 82. 
Joffe, A., 126, 131, 135. 



i 5 6 



INDEX OF PROPER NAMES 



Kachel, M., 6. 

Kaledin, General, 84. 

Karachan, L. M., 123, 131. 

Katkov, G., 95. 

Katshalinski, General, 54. 

Kautzky, K., 36, 47, 62. 

Kennan, G. F., x. 

Kerensky, A. F., 12, 28, 60, 69, 76, 83, 

84, in, 121, 122, 136. 
Keskiila, A. (cover name: Stein), 6, 7, 

8, 11, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 21. 
Keyserling, Rear Admiral, 116. 
Klein, 17, 18. 
Kokoshkin, T. T., 118. 
Kolyshko, 24, 92. 
Kornblum, 88. 
Kornilov, General, 84. 
Krasnov, General, 131. 
Kress, General, 134, 135, 136. 
Kriwotshein (Krivoshein) , A. V., 122. 
Kiihlmann, R., ix, x, 24, 71, 74, 75, 77, 

79> 84, 92, 94, 95, 99, 100, 101, 102, 

"5; "9, 125, 129, 132, 137, 153. 

Langwerth von Simmern, 14, 64. 

Ledebour, G., 49, 64, 102. 

Leitis, 69. 

Lenin, V. I., x, xi, 6, 7, 12, 13, 17, 28, 
35, 39, 42, 48, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 58, 
61, 64, 65, 66, 68, 69, 76, 77, 78, 80, 
81, 82, 84, 88, go, 96, 97, 98, 100, 
104, 109, IIO, 112, 114, 115, 126, 
127, 140. 

Lersner, 26, 37, 45, 64, 75, 89, 94, 107, 

.J53- 
Liebknecht, K., 47. 
Lindblad, 63. 
Lindmann, 61, 62. 
Litchev, 17, 18. 
Lloyd George, D., 62. 
Lockhart, Bruce, 68. 
Lowenstein (cover name: Blau), 79, 80. 
Lucius von Stoedten, 24, 44, 54, 63, 72, 

74, 87, 93, 100, 103, 106, 108. 
Ludendorff, General E., ix, x, xi, 67, 71, 

75, 98, 106, 123, 125, 136. 
Luebers, 68. 

Mackensen, Field-Marshal, 67, 75. 

Martov, L., 51, 88. 

Matchabelli, Prince, 17. 

Mathieu, 18. 

Mehring, F., 36, 37, 47. 

Michaelis, G, 68. 

Milinsky, Captain, 122. 

Miliukov, P. N., 25, 31, 46, 52, 83. 

Mirbach, Count von, xi, 2, 116, 117, 

118, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 

'30, 133, 137, 139- 



Miiller, A., xi, 43, 72, 86, 87, 88. 
Munzenberg, W., 52. 

Nadolny, Captain, 69, 87. 
Nasse, 56, 72, 85, 93. 
Nicholas II, 16. 
Noulens, J., 136. 

Oberndorff, A., 27. 
Olgin (Fomin, V.), 6. 
Ow-Wachendorff, 29, 44, 45. 

Panov, 88. 

Parvus, see Helphand. 

Passwell, 92. 

Platten, F., 35, 36, 37, 3 8, 39, 40, 41, 

45, 51, 52, 53- 
Plekhanov, G. V., 6, 8. 
Pourtales, Count von, 10, 28, 53. 
Protopopov, D., 92. 

Radek, K., xi, 42, 64, 69, 72,. 73, 81, 

108, 109, in, 112, 113, 123. 
Radoslavov, 60. 
Rakovsky, C, 85, 86, 109. 
Reventlow, 47. 
Riezler, K., 2, 72, 79, 83, 87, 91, 101, 

103, 106, 108, 112, 128, 132, 137. 
Rjasanov, D. B., 28. 
Roedern, Count von, 24, 119, 132, 133, 

137- 
Romanov, A. B., 63, 64. 
Romberg, Count von, 7, 23, 26, 27, 34, 

36, 37, 38, 40, 42, 48, 50, 52, 53, 54, 

72, 80, 85, 88, 93, 98. 
Rondorf, 13. 
Rosen, Count von, 59. 
Rosenberg, 113. 
Rossbach, Lieutenant, 64. 

Savinko, B., 69, 122. 

Scavenius, 30. 

Scheidemann, P., x, 36, 43, 49, 50, 61, 

63, 101, 102. 
Schidicki, 68. 
Schroder, 75. 
Schubert, 54. 
Schulthess, 47. 
Schwarz, General, 122. 
Semjonov, V. I., 28. 
Semkovski, S., 51. 
Shamanski, 1 1 7. 
Shingarev, A. I., 118. 
Shklovski, G. L., 55, 56. 
Shulgin, V. V., 122. 
Skobolev, M. I., 30. 
Skoropadski, P. P., 131. 
Sokolnikov, G. Y., 131. 
Spiridonova, 115. 



INDEX OF PROPER NAMES 



157 



Steinwachs, 7, II, 13, 14, 16, 18, 51. 

Stinnes, H., 24, 92. 

Stobbe, 66. 

Stroh, 13. 

Studiakov, 62. 

Stumm, W., 24, 57, 153. 

Sudekum, A. O. W., 85. 

Tatarinov, 63, 64. 
Tereschenko, M. I., 83. 
Trautmann, 133. 
Trenck, g2. 
Treutler, 43, 153. 
Troelstra, P. J., 62. 

Trotsky, L. D., 81, 82, 98, 100, 104, 
105, 106, 109, no, 112, 115. 

Vandervelde, E., 68. 
Vasilchikov, 16. 
Vishinski, A. J., 86. 
Vorovski, V. V., 42, 64, 73, 81, 83, 85, 
87,92,99, '03: '04. I0 5. !°6, 109, 112. 



Wallenberg, V., 63. 

Wangenheim, H., 2. 

Warburg, M., 24, 63. 

Weinberg, x. 

Weissmann, 62. 

William II, the Kaiser, 45, 47, 96, 99, 

118, 121, 127. 
Winterfeldt, 125. 
Witte, Baron, 92. 
Wittgenstein, 80. 
Wucherpfennig, 69, 87, 102. 

Zgraggen, 89. 

Ziese, g8, 99. 

Zimmer, 1, 2, 5. 

Zimmermann, vii, viii, 2, 3, 10, 13, 23, 

24, 26, 37, 44, 48, 49, 50, 53, 56, 59, 

60, 61, 67, 153. 
Zinoviev, G. E., 35, 81. 
Zivin (cover name: Weiss), 18, 19, 20, 

21, 22, 23, 40, 41, 42, 80. 
Ziirn, Captain, 29. 



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